Chiloé has been the most un-South American place we’ve been in South America. It’s wooden buildings look different. It’s perpetually wet and grey weather feels different. It’s people speak differently. It’s un-Latinness was both surprising and familiar. We loved it.
I could see Hoy Curanto, written in chalk, outside ramshackle restaurants all over southern Chile. I didn’t know much about it, other than that it was a local speciality involving seafood. In the fish market in Ancud, Chiloé, I finally decided to give it a try. When it came to the table, I realized that its inflated price in comparison with the other dishes wasn’t due to superior ingredients, but to its sheer size. This was a meal for at least two people, but could probably be shared by 3 or 4. Here’s a list of what it contained:
1 whole fist-sized boiled potato
a large handful of mussels
a large handful of clams
1 piece of pork
1 milcao (a kind of potato bread)
1 chapalele (a potato dumpling)
a mug of soup (the broth it was cooked in)
Needless to say, I couldn’t finish it.