Sunday, May 8, 2016

Why a Chilean Cookbook?

So of all the countries on this amazing planet, why Chile? And why a cookbook?

In answer, I offer you three perspectives.

The Chef: Mark

Mark: "After living in other countries, Chile included, I've discovered that one of the things that differentiates Chilean food is the family focus and the freshness of the ingredients. Growing up in Chile, we would buy a week's worth of food at a time so everything was fresh. Preparing meals was a family affair - everyone worked to make everything from scratch. It was a great time. Too often these days (and especially in the U.S.), everything is eat and go. Family talk and discussion is a dying art.

"I'm returning to Chile to show off my country to the rest of the world. It's my inheritance and some sort of legacy for my kid. I want to get to know Chile and its culinary scene better and bring my family along."

The Writer: Hillary

Hillary: "I'm passionate about three things: family, books, and food. Through the years, with Mark as my guide, I've really come to appreciate good food and have become quite the foodie and home cook. I love opportunities to experience new things - especially different cultures - and am eager to share the wonders of the world with our daughter.

"Chilean food and culture have become a fascination for me and I long to share Chilean food culture with all the folks out there who haven't experienced it yet. Plus, I'm a big proponent of the family table as center of the home. We need to revive the art of connecting over a good meal."

The Wee Child: Oli

Oli: "I don't know. [What do you like about Chile?] I like about Chile, um, to speak Spanish and have Chilean food. [What type of Chilean food do you like most of all?] Sushi. [Sushi is Japanese food.] I only want Sushi at Chile. [What makes you happy about Chile?] I want to go to Chile. [Why do you want to go to Chile?] I just do.

Ok, aside from the sentimental, we have numerous pragmatic reasons for writing a cookbook on Chile. Let me break it down for you bullet-style:
  • We've got an "in." With family and friends, we have connections that will come in handy during our travels up and down the thin country.
  • Chile is a fascinating country of extremes (and all the variances in between). It is one of the longest countries in the world and encompasses a multitude of climates and ecosystems. It has over 4,000 miles of coast, the Atacama desert in the north, the Andes mountains in the East, and Patagonia in the south. It even includes the South Pacific island of Easter Island!
  • Its people are varied and contribute to the country's rich cultural heritage. Chile is home to indigenous peoples, colonial descendants, and post World War immigrants.
  • Chile is a wine-lover's paradise. Chilean wine production dates back to the mid-sixteenth century when conquistadors introduced European Vitis vinifera vines to their budding South American colonies. Chilean grapes were among the only survivors of the phylloxera epidemic that killed off most of France's vineyards in mid-nineteenth century.
  • Haven't you ever noticed that 95% of your grocery's fruit and vegetables are imported from Chile? There's a reason for that. Their produce is good, real good. 
That oughta wet your appetite for now. I'm sure you'll grow to love Chile as you learn more about it through our posts over the next year.

Adios! Hasta luego!

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