How to Celebrate Chile in 4 Easy Steps!

Today is Chile’s National Day and I have to say, these people really know how to celebrate! I think we should borrow a few of these traditions come July 4th.

My host “Mamá” and I went to her Son’s house for a huge BBQ (Keep in mind that the temperature has been in the 40s this week and I mean Fahrenheit!). Luckily it warmed up a bit today. I mean it wasn’t what I’d consider BBQ weather (it’s essentially March here), but eating outside was doable!

Step 1: Start up the Barbie

Huge awesome stone grill
Check out this grill! My grill back home would go hide under it’s tarp after seeing this thing.

Step 2: Start Drinking

Once we got the fire going it was time to try something called Chicha. One very kind woman spent a good 5 minutes explaining to me, in thorough detail, how Chicha is made. Of course, I only understood about every third word, because she was speaking Spanish, but I did look it up later.

Chicha is traditionally made from fermented corn. The Chileans, however, use the term for other fermented fruit juices as well, and in this case, I’m pretty sure what we had was fermented grape juice. It was delicious! If I hadn’t understood, “fermentada”, I would not have guessed that it was alcoholic.

Next we had the famous Picso Sour. I referenced this in my 5 favorite things about Chile post.

But we couldn’t stop there. There was also a round of beer and wine! By the time this progression had ended I was definitely ready to eat something.

Row of empty glasses
(I didn’t think to take this picture until after the Chicha and Pisco round) Ordered from left to right: Chica glass, Pisco glass, Beer glass, Wine glass. I wasn’t allowed to reuse my Chicha glass for the Pisco Sour.

Step 3: Eat till you drop

So after the drinking round was over, it was time for the eat-athon!

Grill covered with delicious looking steak and peppers
I got to eat this. Be jealous.

First we had empanadas (of course), followed by a round of corn, kale salad and lettuce salad. Next was the meat course: chicken, steak, sausages, sausages and more sausages. I gave in to the peer pressure to have some “choripan“, which is like a hot dog with “chorizo”, a type of spanish sausage, but I couldn’t bring myself to eat the “blood sausage”. I’m not a big fan of sausage to begin with, and this one just looked too much like it’s name. Maybe if I thought it was nutritious or wasn’t already eating a ton of other meats…

After the meat round, we had some delicious, grilled, stuffed peppers. The family warned me that they were, “picante”. (Spicy? Please! Turns out Chileans aren’t accustomed to as much spicy food as  Central Americans are).

There was one new food that I just loved! Allow me to introduce you to the fried-egg-grilled-bellpepper (I didn’t learn the Chilean term).

Plate with fried egg in a bell pepper
My host mother was kind enough to let me photograph her plate. I had already devoured my egg/pepper.

I would have never thought to put these two foods together, but it was awesome! I’m definitely going to start making this regularly at home.

Step 4: Celebrate with Music

The last course of the meal was dessert, Mamá’s homemade apple pie and bunt cake, paired with coffee, tea and a few hours of guitar led sing-alongs.

Apple pie in the foreground, guitar player in the background

This family is so talented! They didn’t just sing, they instantly broke into intricate 4, 5, and even 6 part harmonies and they ALL played guitar, so the guitar kept switching hands as a new member of the family would remember a song they wanted to play.

It was the perfect way to celebrate the holiday! I was so glad to be a part of it.

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3 thoughts on “How to Celebrate Chile in 4 Easy Steps!

  1. Hello,

    I will be in chile october 1st for my honeymoon. It would be great if you provided a post of cool things for us to do

    Love you blog its already helped out a ton

    1. Hey Shawn!

      Thanks for the feedback and congratulations! I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time here.

      Since I’m living and working in Santiago, I haven’t had a chance to explore much outside of the city, but I can definitely write about some great places on my Chile travel “wish list”.

      Even in the city, I’m always stumbling upon great date activities! (If my boyfriend was here, I’d probably be dragging him to all of them.)

      -Dani

  2. That would definitely help, we will be in Santiago for 2 days Valparaiso for 1 day, Casablanca for 2 day back to Santiago for a 1/2 day and then flying to the Atacama dessert for three days

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