Chile is an excellent place to have the perfect breakfast, besides the fantastic wines, stunning landscapes, and delicious seafood. Chilean food is famous for being delicious and healthy. Breakfast is also renowned for being a quick affair. You can find tea or coffee in most places, with or without milk. You can also get toast with jam or butter or a simple ham sandwich.
But that is common, even for a regular family in North America. So, when looking at the best breakfast food in Chile, you get to learn about the unique and traditional dishes that draw their flavors and origin from the Chilean people.
In Chile, you can find classic breakfast foods like empanadas and curanto. There is something delicious for everyone. And if you want to understand these recipes, here is a list of the best breakfast foods in Chile.
Traditional breakfast foods in Chile
Chile is a big country with hundreds of micro-ecosystems, climates, and soils. The country is also famous for its resource-rich lands and sea. So, when looking for some traditional Chilean breakfast food, you can expect the best combination from the beautiful highlands of Chile and the oceans. These cuisines are delicious, diverse, and, most importantly, perfectly healthy.
Below are some common traditional breakfast foods in Chile.
Empanadas chilenas is a beloved Chilean staple food. You can find it in any Chilean bakery or the market. Alternatively, you can make them at home if you have the right ingredients.
These would include minced beef, onions, salt, cumin, paprika, oregano, garlic, boiled effs, olives, sultanas, and oil for the filling. You will need some flour, butter, salt, and water for the dough.
The filling is then placed in the dough with a slice of egg, one olive, and some sultanas. You then roll the dough, wet the edges, and overlap them to enclose the filling. Some brush the top with some milk and poke some holes with a skewer before baking in an oven.
Once ready, you can serve up these empanadas with another classic Chilean dish, the pebre. This dipping sauce contains chopped tomatoes, onions, chili peppers, and coriander leaves.
Curanto may not be a popular breakfast food in Chilean cities, but it is delicious. Most believe that curanto is an invention of the Chiloe Archipelago, from whom it spread in the southern regions of Chile and Argentina.
It is a famous dish consisting of mussels, clams, sea snails, pork, chicken, and potatoes. Sometimes, the meal comprises some specific types of fish. However, the ribbed mussels and giant barnacles, or picorocos, are a must. An interesting combination, but wait until you hear of its preparation.
It is common along the seaside, and it brings the true definition of juicy Chilean seafood to life. To prepare curanto, a hole, about one and a half yards deep, is dug into the ground. The cooks then arrange some stones at the bottom then heat them until they are red. If you visit a Mercado, then you can enjoy this hearty breakfast.
Nalca or Chilean rhubarb leaves cover every layer of ingredients to add to the flavor. Alternatively, some people use cabbage leaves or fig leaves. The chefs then cover the food with set sacks for that pressure-cooker effect and cook for one hour before serving it to their guests.
Ulpo is another typical food in Chile but not very common in other parts of the world. The name comes from an indigenous language in the northern parts of Chile called Quechua. This breakfast food is a drink rather than a meal. And it is surprisingly filling.
Ulpo is typical breakfast food in the Chilean countryside. It is famous among farmers who enjoy a large cup of a filling breakfast before setting out to work for the day.
The main ingredients in ulpo are toasted flour with hot milk or water, plus a sweetener like sugar or honey. You then stir the mixture into a cup to create a thick drink. How you get your ulpo mostly depends on the season. Others make Chilean ulpo with wine.
In Chile, bread is the main breakfast dish. You can have it alone, with a cup of coffee or tea, or go the extra mile to make a sanguches, or what you may know as a sandwich. Churrascos are among the most common sandwiches in Chile. Chileans use pan amasado, freshly-baked Chilean bread, to make the sandwich.
Nothing gives you a kicker morning start than having a Chilean sandwich to get you going for the day. The churrasco mainly uses grilled meat. Alternatively, you can pan-sear the beef to your liking. For the Chilean sandwiches, the ingredients used include sirloin steak, tomatoes, chopped onions, cilantro, green chili, salt and pepper, and of course, the rolls.
Sopaipillas are a Chilean pastry. You can enjoy it with a cup of tea, especially on a cold winter morning. You can buy some from the local pastry shop or street vendor or make them at home.
The ingredients used to make sopaipillas in Chile include zapallo squash, all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, melted butter, and canola oil.
Traditionally, the sopaipillas comprise leavened wheat dough, to which you add some shortening like butter. After rising, you roll the dough into sheets and cut circular, square, or triangle pieces. You then fry these pieces in oil.
Chile’s sopaipillas mostly go with avocado, ketchup, mustard, and cheese. You can also have them with jam or honey.
Regular Chilean breakfast foods
If you want to go more contemporary and have a simple breakfast at a café in Chile, there are many options. Most are common, even in other North American countries. Some of these include:
This is a typical breakfast in Chile. It is a staple breakfast food in Chile, typically comprising tomatoes and queso fresco. If you want more, you can add little scrambled eggs.
If you are not feeling like toast, you can try some bread variations. Chile is rich in bread varieties, including hallulla, a simple type of bread with minimal flavor. You can also try marraqueta, a crusty, white loaf that you can combine with many toppings and spreads.
Since the crust of a marraqueta is thick, you can even remove some fluffy bread and fill it with marmalade, jam, peanut, or honey. If you want to have a more filling breakfast, you can add extra toppings like cold-cut meat and cheese. Alternatively, you can add scrambled effs.
You can find some at the bakery if you do not have some hallulla or marraqueta at home since both are common. Also, these loaves of bread are complex to make and use special ovens, which many people do not have at home.
If you are at home, have no bread, some hearty roasted flour for your ulpo, and want to have breakfast in Chile, you can choose to go with a bowl of cereal. There is nothing more to it—just a bowl of cereal and milk.
Eggs are another common breakfast item on Chilean tables. You can have the eggs with a queso fresco, some tomatoes, and some toast.
Being a staple fruit in Chile, bananas are common in most kitchens. So, you can blend a quick banana milkshake for a simple breakfast.
You will need some milk, vanilla extract, and some bananas. You then place all these in a blender, where you blend them until you have a creamy and smooth Leche con platano, or, you know, banana milkshake.
Chilean Breakfast drinks
For breakfast, you can enjoy a variety of drinks in Chile. The most common drink would be tea with milk, which goes nicely with most Chilean breakfast dishes.
Alternatively, you can have a cup of coffee. Most places serve the coffee black, but you can always request some milk and sugar.
Milkshakes are another typical breakfast drink, and if you are looking for a more filling option, ulpo is an excellent alternative.
Pisco sour, a Peru native drink now claimed to be Chilean, is another excellent alternative. The drink is not suitable for children since it contains pisco, a type of liquor. Pisco sour comprises lime juice, some syrup, usually sugar water, some egg white, and some ice.
Although breakfast is not a big deal in Chile, you can enjoy various breakfast foods while touring the nation. The best part about breakfast foods in Chile is that they are very common countrywide, making it easy to find them in any restaurant you walk into.
If you are interested in making your breakfast at home, a walk through your local pastry shop or bakery will supply you with all the bread you need. And Chile, being a big country, offers more than one type of bread.
Depending on where you are, you can enjoy simple breakfast meals like toast and avocado or visit the northern regions for some properly made traditional Chilean breakfast foods.