One thing every traveler will tell you: food and location go hand-in-hand. So one of the many things I’m looking forward to during the ACEAP journey is the food — and perhaps — the drink of Chile. On my first trip to help inaugurate the ALMA telescope, our group of intrepid journalists and writers was able to spend the first day exploring the city of Santiago, climbing to the top of a nearby mountain, sampling some of its world-famous cuisine, and getting acclimated to the warmer weather (it had snowed a week before we left Charlottesville).
Wandering the historic old section of town, we stumbled upon a quaint restaurant with a charming courtyard. Even before we made our selections, an amazing selection of “bread” — and I use the term loosely in this case — was brought to the table. As you can see from the photo, it looked more like the dessert tray. Each sampling, however, was exceptional — some sweet, some savory — and each quite different from the rest.
Perhaps, however, the destination I am most looking forward to is a little spot in the town of San Pedro called “Blanco,” where they serve the best empanadas I have ever tasted. They also make an exceptional Pisco Sour — arguably the best-known cocktail from that part of the world. There is a colloquial saying that when it comes to Pisco Sours you can have: “one too many” or perhaps as it’s meant to be spelled “1…2…many…”. I prefer the latter.
The only challenge when ordering in Chile is the local dialect and accent, which is sufficiently different from my background in Castillian Spanish to ensure that when I order one thing I sometimes get something completely different. Oh well, that’ll all part of the adventure.