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Food & Drink: Santiago Refreshments

When traveling, there are certain culinary delights (or disappointments) that you actually must try. Hit or miss, the food staples of a region help form the identity of the place. So, to really get to know a location, you must put your taste buds to work and get to sampling the goods!


Today, we’ll look at 2 drinks from Chile, Mote con Huesillo and the Terremoto. These are very different drinks with lots of personality. First up! Let’s start with the Mote con Huesillo. This is a non alcoholic concoction of basically wheat grain and caramelized peaches in a liquid syrup. It sounds rich, but the barley really balances it out, making it feel like a liquid granola bar of sorts. Everyone has their own recipe, of course, but the basic idea is to cook peaches in cinnamon, sugar and water, then take the cooled mixture and combine with the barley oats. It’s lunch in a cup! You’ll see them sold by street vendors throughout the city. It’s even available in the grocery store in cans! The place you should get them? Go to the hills! Cerro San Cristobal and Cerro Santa Lucia have vendors along the way or at the top of the hiking trails. It just seems to taste better after you’ve worked up a little thirst.

Now to the Terremoto. Go ahead and clear your schedule. There will be no decent plans made after you’ve had this one. Terremoto means “earthquake” in Spanish and this aptly named drink earns the title due to it’s ability to create a shaky ground under your legs after consumption. This cocktail is another sweet treat of fermented white wine, pineapple ice cream and fernet (a bitter herbal liquor). The result will seem sort of like a coke float, with foamy ice cream up top and delicious sweetness underneath. The go to spot for this drink is La Piojera, a hole-in-the-wall place that roughly means “flea house.” It was given it’s name by former president Arturo Alessandri when he found himself shoulder to shoulder with the working class set during a visit in the 1900s. The nickname stuck and became the official name which is proudly held up today, inviting patrons of all classes, serving traditional Chilean fare, playing fun music and hosting to a lively, boisterous crowd. If this is the sort of night that you don’t care to remember, you can order a “Réplica,” which means “aftershock.” It’s the same thing, but half the size. Now, it’s time to leave. Trust me.

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