February 26, 2004

Culinarious?

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As we look towards the spring and remember that the southern hemisphere is in the middle of summer, we too can enjoy some of the fruits of life that they are experiencing. As discussed in the preceding Culinarious? column, Argentinean food and wine is one aspect of life that we can enjoy during this blistering cold winter. Venturing to the east from the gastronomic of Argentina is Chile, another region that encompasses simplistic cuisine and high quality value wines. In this week’s column, I would like to offer an introduction to this wonderful gastronomic region. According to Jorge Beals, third secretary of the Chilean Embassy, his country has a 4,300km coastline. “The Pacific Ocean provides it with an abundance of seafood,” he said. As such, Chileans enjoy a varied supply of fresh seafood, including abalone, eel, scallop, turbot, large barnacle, king crab and kingclip. They have also have learned to savor exotic foods like sea urchin and algae.

Chile is the second largest producer of salmon after Norway; this fish is very popular. Below is a recipe for a classic Chilean preparation for salmon. In this recipe, any type of salmon can be used, whether farm-raised (which is not preferred, due to its lack of flavor, but is economical in a pinch), or wild salmon. Steelhead trout can be used as well, which resembles salmon in its texture and flavor, and can be purchased almost anywhere at a reasonable price. Along with the recipe is a selection of Chilean wines that are representative to the region to where they are grown, and have a great deal of value (each wine can be bought hallunder $10!). These wines are fruitful and young in character. They are great with food, or can be served by themselves. Salud!

Salm

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