Bread: Chile's Best Food Tradition
Chile may not have the most well-known culinary tradition compared to many countries, but one area of cuisine in which this country has distinguished itself is with it’s bread. Chileans eat between 86 and 95 kilograms of bread per year, making them the second highest bread consumers in the world behind Germany. Given that, it only makes sense that they would have plenty to choose from to satisfy their love for savory baked goods. Twice a day in almost every city in Chile, the panaderías (bakeries) crank out countless batches of freshly baked bread--here are a few of the most popular kinds.
Mostly used for sandwiches or with other toppings such as salsas or guacamole, this bread is fairly dense and can be served either fresh or toasted.
Light and fluffy with a crackly crust, marraquetas are baked in a loaf of four rolls and used for sandwiches, completos, and choripanes. It’s likely that marraquetas are French in origin; in fact, the recipe is almost identical to that of French bread.
This type of bread is chewy and dense, typically eaten with condiments like butter, jelly, or honey. It can also be decorated with cut-outs or designs traced in the dough.
Uniquely shaped and the perfect size for snacking, dobladitas are very similar to the pastry used for empanadas. Usually they are eaten with butter, jelly, or salsa.
With a name that means “kneaded bread”, this is one type that is easily made at home. You might even see street vendors selling bags of pan amasado from insulated bags, still warm from the oven. Generally it’s eaten with various kinds of condiments, such as butter, salsa, or even manjar, Chile’s version of dulce de leche.
Tortillas de Rescoldo
This type is not universal throughout Chile, but in areas with Mapuche influence is popular both to make at home and to buy at local markets. This bread is not baked in a traditional oven, but is formed and then set directly on hot ashes from wood that is almost entirely burned away. Once the bread is done, it’s removed from the fire and the ashes are scraped off. The texture is dense but soft, and is eaten with sweet and savory condiments.
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