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Some fruits and vegetables have different names in Chile than in other countries. I had those foods on the Vocabulary page before, but there were so many other unique dishes that I decided to make a whole page about food. I loved the food while I was in Chile, it makes me hungry everytime I update this page! ¡Provecho!

  • a lo pobre - served with fried onions and an egg
  • ají - chili pepper, also a hot chili sauce
  • ají pebre - green hot chili sauce
  • anticucho - shish kebab
  • asado - barbeque
  • cazuela - soup with a little meat, one potato, one small cob of corn, chunk of zapallo, and other vegetables
  • chancaca - solid brown sugar
  • charquicán - mashed potatoes mixed with zapallo, ground beef, porotos, and corn
  • cochayuyo - brown alga or rockweed; a long tubular seaweed boiled and used like pasta
  • cocho - harina tostada mixed with hot water or milk and eaten as a hot cereal, ulpo
  • curanto - clambake
  • dulce de membrillo - fruit preserves made out of membrillos
  • empanadas - traditional turnover pie (de horno-baked, frito-fried, de pino-with a meat and onion filling, de queso-cheese, de mariscos-seafood)
  • ensalada chilena - salad of well rinsed sliced onions, sliced tomatoes, vinegar, oil dressing, cilantro, and salt
  • estofado - stew
  • fiambre - lunch meat
  • guatita - tripe (cow stomach)
  • harina tostada - toasted flour
  • huevos a la copa - soft boiled eggs
  • humitas - mashed corn wrapped in corn husks and steamed
  • manjar blanco - dulce de leche, sweetened condensed milk boiled until it turns caramel-like
  • once - "tea time"
  • parilladas - variety of meats cooked over a charcoal grill
  • pastel de choclo - similar to a shepherd pie or casserole, made with meat and layer of mashed corn
  • pastel de papas - similar to pastel de choclo but with a layer of mashed potatoes instead of corn, served with either sugar or salt sprinkled on top, dulce o salado
  • pino - ground beef with onions
  • pollo a lo spiedo - rotisserie chicken
  • puré de papas - mashed potatoes
  • prieta - blood and onion sausage
  • ulfe - type of seaweed

    Sandwiches & Bread

  • ave palta - chicken and avocado sandwich
  • Barros Jarpa - ham and melted cheese sandwich
  • Barros Luco - steak and cheese sandwich
  • chacarero - steak and vegetable sandwich
  • chicharrones - bread with baked in dried pork
  • churrasco - marinated steak sandwich
  • completos - a hot dog on a fresh baked roll with tomatoes, sauerkraut- chucrut, avocado, and mayonnaise
  • hallullas - "pan especial" everyday bread
  • marraquetas - "pan frances" another type of everyday bread
  • milcao - Mapuche potato bread
  • pan amasado - homemade bread
  • pan candeal - bakery-style yeast bread
  • pan de pascua - Christmas fruit bread, similar to fruit cake

    Fruits & Vegetables

  • alcayota - melon used to make jam
  • chirimoya - cherimoya or "custard apple", has a very unique flavor; tastes like a blend of papaya, pineapple and banana
  • choclo - corn, instead of maíz (choclo is Incan for corn)
  • damasco - apricot, albaricoque
  • frutilla - strawberry, instead of fresa
  • lúcuma - "eggfruit", often used in ice cream, tastes like butterscotch
  • maní - peanuts, instead of cacahuate
  • membrillo - quince
  • mote - special type of whole kernel corn, similar to hominy
  • níspero - medlar (fruit)
  • palta - avocado, instead of aguacate
  • papaya - the chilean papaya is a 5 sided yellow fruit, different from the more common tropical papaya
  • pepino dulce - sweet fruit-like cucumber, tastes like melon
  • porotos - beans, instead of frijoles
  • tuna - prickly pear fruit ( atún= tuna fish)
  • zapallo - squash, similar to pumpkin

    Desserts & Pastries

  • alfajores - pastry filled with manjar and covered in either coconut or chocolate
  • berlin - jelly-filled donut
  • borrachitos - liquor filled pastry
  • cabritas - popcorn, palomitas de maíz
  • cachos - horn shaped pastry filled with manjar
  • calzones rotos - fried pastry, (literally "ripped underwear")
  • chilenitos - pastry similar to alfajores, but covered with powdered sugar
  • churro - donut-like pastry rolled into a cylinder filled with manjar
  • cuchufli - tubular pastry filled with manjar
  • küchen - type of german pastry
  • mil hojas - multi-layered pastry or tort with manjar
  • panqueque - rolled crepe filled with manjar or jam
  • picarón - ring-shaped cruller or friter
  • sopaipilla - type of flat scone made with zapallo
  • sopaipillas pasadas - sopaipillas covered with a sweet syrupy sauce made from chancaca, traditionally made on rainy days


  • aguardiente - liquor, apiado-liquor in which celery has been left to steep, guindado- liquor in which cherries have been left to steep
  • agüita - herbal tea, té de hierbas, agua monte
  • bebida - soda pop, instead of gaseosa or refresco
  • chicha - fermented fruit juice
  • cola de mono - alcoholic drink made with milk, coffee, cinnamon or vanilla, and pisco
  • hierba mate - herb used in a hot drink, traditionally it is put into a gourd called a mate and drunk with a filtered straw
  • leche con plátano - milk mixed with a fresh banana
  • mote con huesillos - traditional chilean drink made from mote and huesillos(huesillos are literally "little bones" but they're just dried peaches
  • ponche - alcoholic drink made of wine and peaches in cubes
  • pisco - Chilean liquor made from distilling grape juice
  • pisco sour - pisco with lemon juice


  • almejas - clams
  • calamares - squid
  • camarones - shrimp
  • camarones grandes - prawns, gambas
  • centolla - Patagonian king crab
  • erizos - sea urchins
  • jaiva - crab, cangrejo
  • locos - different species of abalone
  • machas - razor clams
  • mejiones - mussels
  • ostiones - oysters
  • piure - a kind of shellfish (puré = mashed potatoes)
  • pulpo - octopus


  • albacora - swordfish
  • caldillo congrio - soup with conger, onions, and potatoes
  • cojinova - Spanish hake
  • congrio - conger eel
  • corvina - deep-water fish, similar to Atlantic sea bass
  • lenguado - sole
  • pejerreyes - small fish similar to Arctic Norwegian whiting, sometimes called smelt
  • salmón - salmon
  • trucha - freshwater trout

    Hungry for more? Some of the information on this page can be found in the book "Three Generations of Chilean Cuisine" by Mirtha Umaña-Murray. It's an excellent book that has a lot of great recipes and other miscellaneous information about Chilean food. I highly recommend it. The recipes are authentic recreations using ingredients easily found in the United States. It has the best empanada recipe that I have found since I've been back in the States!

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    © Copyright 2006 ChileZine Co. All rights reserved.
    Written and compiled by Eric Canfield.