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How to upset an entire nation: Why Chileans Think We SUCK!

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The way to someone’s heart is through their stomach, and the way to upset an entire nation, at least the nation of Chile, is to criticize its cuisine.

I know this, because a post we wrote called Here’s Why Chilean Food Sucks which caused a massive stir. On our own site it went relatively unnoticed, but after it was picked up in South American food blog called Comosur it then gained traction, began spreading on social media and has now gone fairly viral.

comosur article

Of course, I never, ever meant to offend the great people of Chile. Even the ones who have told me now to drink bleach, eat shit and die and never come back to the country because we are fat, gringa, lesbian sluts (note: possible future band name?).  Below we have listed some of the comments, just a sprinkling of the hundreds of mixed results – some in support of us, some entirely outraged. Below these, you will find the Lessons I have Learned from this experience with infamy.

First, a few words to the thousands of Chileans visiting our site:

To the people of Chile, I would like to emphasize a few things:

1. We adore Chile – please see the list of posts below. There are LOT of positive posts about Chile on this website.
2. I know that you are a country, not a condiment, and it was simply a (very, very bad) play on words – the Chile vs Chili comment.
3. This is a website for all travelers, not just Chileans, and while I thank you for inviting us to come to your home to eat the homemade Chilean food, what we find out in restaurants throughout the country is very different.
4. Why does food have to be expensive to be good? Many people have argued that we were eating ‘inexpensive’ food and that a decent meal comes at certain price. We agree with you. But therein lies one of our key frustrations. When you travel full time, as we do, you can not eat expensive meals all the time. And unlike so many other countries around the world, when you go under $10 a plate, the food in Chile becomes…less desirable, when in other countries around the world, even simple meals can be seriously delicious. It is an issue of value for money.
5. Dani is German, so please stop calling her a fat American.
6. Let me as the big, stupid American take the fall. I understand what it is like to have people constantly beat up on your country. I lived abroad during all 8 of the Bush years and faced extreme hatred day in and day out. It is very easy to call us stupid Americans and that we know nothing.
7. You eat pizza, Chile. For all the people that got so down on me for writing about the pizza – it is everywhere in your country. It may not make the list of your ‘national foods’ but like the Chorillana and pasta pesto, it is on menus all around the country. Therefore, whether you like it or not, it is one of the foods that people come across when visiting your country.
8. We are vegetarian, so please stop telling us that we left out the meat dishes and seafood dishes. We know. And the people who read our site more than just for this one article, they all know that.
9. While I admit that I shouldn’t have used the word ‘sucks’, we are never going to love your food. Sorry.
10. We did not only eat in fast food places. In 100 days it would have been impossible to list all the places we ate. But as a tourist, without a home or a grandmother to cook you Chilean food, you often eat on the go. And even the local places that you claim we did not eat in (which we very often did) have the kinds of food we mention in the article.
11. You’ll see in the comments that Chileans agree with the point we were making.
12. We actually did eat in almost all the restaurants that have been recommended to us, we shopped every week at the La Vega Mercado during our time in Santiago. It is a lovely market. For tourists reading this, you really should go there.
13. We love your produce. It’s amazing. It’s fresh, better than so many other places.
14. We did not travel Chile with a ‘guide’. We had at least 20+guides on the various tours we did, we used Foursquare where local Chileans recommend restaurants in each town, we use travel blogs, local blogs, guidebooks, forums, talk to locals and get recommendations. So, there is no ‘guide’ you can blame for not showing us the best Chile has to offer.
15. When people travel, they often make comparisons. To compare the empanadas of various countries is natural, just as comparing public transportation systems, quality of roads, the beautiful landscapes (all of which Chile would arguably win compared to any other South American country).

how to upset chileans-1Now, on to some of the comments: 

Fran told us to get the sand out of our vaginas. 

Julio, Rita and Jules insinuate that we are alcoholics who only go out at night and eat when we are wasted. I do not drink alcohol and Dani does only very rarely.

Valerii encourages us (for those who read Spanish) to watch the movie The Breakfast Club to get a real sense of what a shitty culture we Americans come from, using this as evidence as to why we should never, ever come back to Chile as we have humiliated the entire country.

Alejandra says:
I’ve heard from travel writers that you have to write about the positive things you find while traveling. But I do understand your frustration regarding food in Chile. I have been living in Chile for 3 years and I truly remember finding everything terribly tasteless for 8 months (more than 100 days.) After that time, I was eating pasta with a friend (who had just arrived) and I happened to comment how nice was the food and she laughed and said really? You have lost your sense of taste.

No offense Chileans, but your food (and I DON’T EVER eat street vendor’s food) is tasteless and overpriced. Although I have looked over and over again for cheese I have not found a good Chilean cheese. I (trust me) bought almost every cheese and they are flavorless.
I support your article 100% I live there and I think that Chilean cuisine is far from being world-class or even nice. I think that Chilean’s lack the ability to see what’s not working so well within their borders and that, also applies to food.

The Alejandra followed up with:
I also have to say that it is a SHAME that Chileans think that you have spend a lot of money to eat properly. This is just a reflection of their classicist culture “only the ones with money are allowed to eat nicely, live comfortably and be well educated”.
Normally around the world (and this applies in my country, which is not as “rich” as Chile is) street food is the best.  

Diego – and hundreds of others – have told us not to come back anymore:
Girls, you really don’t taste THE REAL Chilean food!…REALLY? and even after that, you made a bad opinion about the food! All the food that you mentioned in this blog, here in Chile is almost like a snacks…you come to Chile to eat pizza? really?…is like if i go to Italy to eat Ceviche, it’s ridiculous isn’t? And if you don’t like the sea food, (maybe the principal culinary attraction in Chile), don’t come back anymore

Gerardo would like to rock us in the bedroom:
Seems that your loco guides were not the best ( and of course you did not try aji cacho de cabra, they say that is double spicy, when you eat it and when you are in the bathroom, lol. Did you even tried sex at least? We do rock in bed babe not in the kitchen.
Luv ya. 

A few people said things like:
Fuck you Gringoo!!! #eatshitfromChilewithlove

Robert says:
Jess, 
I think the main mistake you are doing here is not to recognize that your blog post is offensive to Chileans with that excessively harsh title. You can’t ask for respect when you are offending people on their pride and for free. So yeah… people will be violent on the comments. 

Chilean Chef says:
You are so wrong. Dis you ever tried CAZUELA or MOTE con HUESILLO?. So you don’t even started with te chilean food. Take care with your comments, be sincerely. By th way, The USA food is the worst food that i ever tried , you put bbq sauce y everything, and that is disgusting.

Rigo has taken this post and everything we have ever written to mean that we find Latin Americans to be inferior. Nothing could of course be further from the truth. For those who read Spanish:
Cabros, ¿Saben cuál es el problema de fondo?: los gringos piensan que somos una mierda. Nos miran en menos, muy mal, como si fuéramos unos trogloditas. Vienen casi a hacer turismo antropológico acá. Lo mismo varios europeos. No se pueden sacar de la cabeza el tema de desarrollo/subdesarrollo. No debemos olvidar nunca la relación de poder que media entre nuestras culturas. Viva América Latina!

An expat living in Chile named Ori confirmed our opinion:
Thank you for this post. As a foreign living in Chile, the food has been by far the most traumatic and shocking thing i’ve had to live with. I remember that I had a few weeks in here, and was craving for some pancakes with bacon. Poor me, it’s been 4 years since I’ve arrived and I’ve never seen that kind of breakfast here. Nevermind the haters. Chileans tend to believe that they are the best of the better of the best (I’m not intending to sound redundant). They like things heavily salted, flavorless and most of all oily, fatty and simple. They charge you 7000 CLP for a salad that they don´t even bother to stir it up!! 

Karen’s comment was refreshing:
First of all, if you are some stupid lesbians who tried to eat vegetarian food its going to end bad. You have no power here to say our food is terrible because you don’t even eat meat!!
So fuck yourselves with a soybean-burger and freeze to death in the USA with your junk food!!

Locals like J. were nice and agreed to disagree with us on some things:

It is true that good food in Chile is really hard to find. We pride ourselves of having great meals, but most of them you can only eat them at home, ’cause the cheap places that you can afford while backpacking it’s truly disappointing. If you compare our food to Peruvian or Argentinian it gets even worst. We barely consider vegetarian an option, much less vegan. And the meat we eat is just bad and tasteless.

This person says that she agrees, that unlike neighboring countries, Chilean cuisine isn’t all that (In Spanish only).

Puta qué cierto! Yo le envidio a los peruanos y bolivianos lo orgullosos que están de sus tradiciones, de su comida, de sus raíces indígenas. Acá siempre estamos diciendo ‘si es chileno, es bueno’ y saltamos con agresiones a quienes critican a nuestro país, pero en el fondo, en el fondo, nosotros no lo valoramos ni lo respetamos ni lo aplaudimos. Yours if probably one of the few constructive comments. 
Sadly, my fellow countrymen can be absolute assholes and neanderthals. I do agree with some that your comments are hurtful to our pride, but that does not entitle them to attack you galls like most of them are doing. please remember the Chileans you met while traveling, not the morons who are treating you like shit just ‘cus you said what many actually actually think.

One really friendly poster gave us this reference:

I invite you to look into what the people at Ñam (http://niamsantiago.cl) are doing for our cuisine, it’s really great. Even though they don’t make it very public, they treat international chefs to the wonders and variety of our country and they usually leave loving Chile and talking about it back home. Even the Roca’s, from the world known El Celler de Can Rocca, have been here and loved what we had to offer.

I really think you got cheated, food-wise, when you came here, and like I said on my comment down below, being vegetarian made things worst, since this is a country that eats mostly meat and seafood.

Next time you come to Santiago feel free to contact me and my girlfriend and I’ll try and show how good Chilean food can be. You have my e-mail 😉
Oh and once again, sorry for the assholes commenting here.

Three years in Chile said, in Spanish, that we were totally right, the food is plain and boring, be realistic. Whoever thinks that Chile is the ultimate in food should travel the world to understand what great food is out there (in a nutshell).

Estas niñas tienen toda la razón la comida en Chile es plana y aburrida , se debe ser realista. Y quienes creen que Chile es la ultima panacea en comida , los invito a viajar por el mundo y comer cosas ricas de verdad, con deliciosos condimentos, combinaciones y sabor. Y por ultimo Chilenos dejen de ser crecidos y acepten que la comida y atención en su país es muy mala.

The Lessons Learned

There have been many lessons learned from this post; about the outrage, Chilean pride, our place within the world of the internet, and the debate between journalism and blogging.

Lesson #1: Chileans are a very proud people

The truth is, when I wrote the article, I didn’t exactly have the Chilean people in mind. I was venting about our ordeal, our struggles, and those of several travelers we also met on the road. I admit that the title was entirely insensitive. But WOW! Chileans are very proud of their food and insulting is like directly insulting their grandmother’s cooking and then directly their culture and their country. I did not mean that in any way as we love Chile (please see lesson #2 below).

Lesson #2: Negativity spreads like wildfire. 
Negativity spreads like wildfire and compliments hardly stick. For over a year we have done nothing more than compliment Chile. The only post that has ever gone viral was the ONE negative one we wrote. I list for you here all the articles where we talk about how incredible we think Chile is:

33 Things We Love About Santiago
Go Beyond Central Santiago
Sculptures of Santiago: A Photo Essay
GlobetrotterGirls Quick Guide to Santiago
Live and in Technicolor: Valparaiso is Chile’s Colorful Cultural Capital
A Blind Date with Chile’s Romantic Chiloe Island
Hotel Tip: Hosteria Yendegaia in Porvenir, Chile
Valparaiso’s Essence Can Be Found Among Its Dissidents
Hotel Tip: Casa Kreyenberg, Valparaiso, Chile
Struck by a Wave of Charm in Valdivia
Quirky Chile: Coffee with Legs
Home Sweet Home in Southern Chile: Following the Trail of German Immigrants
Pisco, Papaya and the Playa:  La Serena and the Elqui Valley
How much does it cost to travel in Chile
Our Top Five Places to Visit in Chile
The Otherworldly Scenery of the Atacama Desert 
Celebrating Spring at the Beach
San Pedro de Atacama, an oasis in the desert
From Pucon to Ushuaia: Our Trip through Patagonia
The Day We Hitchhiked to the End of the World
Flamingo in Chile’s Salt FlatsHotel Tip: Puerto Varas, Chile 
An Homage to the Wind in Puerto Natalaes
Thank Goodness for Silver Linings…Rained Out in Pucon
Hotel Tip of the Week: Bosque Nativo Eco-Hostel, Valdivia, Chile
Polaroid of the Week: Sea Lion Attack in Valdivia Chile
Warming up to the Iquique Coastline in Northern Chile
Torres del Paine: Patagonia’s Essence in a Day

And yet this one post is the only post that has ever gone viral on the site.

Lesson #3: I need to listen to my heart as a writer

The third is that I had been listening to too many other people’s opinions about the site without listening to my own heart. Many fans and friends have been saying we need to cover more nitty gritty details, the negative sides of travel. That’s probably true. And every time we meet readers or online friends in real life, they always tell me that I need to try to be funnier, write in a less serious way. The takeaway: I can show the more nitty gritty details about travel without being offensive. I can (try) to be funny without taking the easy joke, like the one about Chile and Chili.

Lesson #4 The Ever-Raging Blogger vs Journalist Debate

Lastly, I have learned that the conflict between what makes a blogger versus a journalist is still raging. I consider us GlobetrotterGirls to clearly be travel experts (contrary to the list of awful comments here on this website now), and bloggers, travelers and nomads. I’ve never thought of this as a journalistic space.

As bloggers we are lending a different kind of thread to the fabric of the internet. It is a running thread – where we share our personal story, our personal experience, our feelings, our hopes and our lives out in the open for everyone to see.

A journalist covers specific stories in a very different way. That is why when I write a post that I don’t like Chilean food, it is part of an ongoing series of nearly 800 articles that our audience can read to understand the story of our lives and our travels. That doesn’t mean we don’t research. Anyone who knows us knows the copious notes and intense research we put in to the destinations we choose to visit. Even though I never intended for the infamous Chilean food post to be more than a quick frustration release, we researched Chilean food before arriving in Chile, during our time there and afterward to write each and every article on the country.

However, many of the reactions have been how unprofessional we are, how we are terrible journalists, and how lazy we are for writing this news. For us, this was just an opinion piece – hence the many lame jokes that really didn’t land.

While I want this website to be a reflection of us as people, the lesson that this blogger is taking away is that every single piece is a stand alone item that, when taken out of context, can be taken as news by others.

LUN articleA note to our Loyal Readers

To our readers, the loyal ones from the past four years and the new ones who have left really great supportive comments here today, thank you. Thank you for sticking with us and being a part of this journey with us. We have dedicated ourselves to covering destinations around the world with passion, careful research and a love of discovering the world.

Rather than get bogged down in this negativity, and I admit to casting the first stone, I can’t help but think of Ellen Degeneres. While other comedians use cheap jokes and make fun of others to get a laugh, she has dedicated her life to spreading love and compassion through her comedy. Until recently, we had hardly said a bad word about anyone or anything on this website, focusing on the things we love, the hotels we recommend, the great experiences recommend rather than the crap hotels and things we didn’t like about certain places.

The passion for travel and experiencing the world is what drives me every single day to keep writing, and I will do this through positivity, keeping all people and the pride of entire nations in mind.


The biggest lesson of all, of course, is that, apparently,  you should really try the seafood in Chile! 

Now, what do you think?

Was the title too harsh? Should we change the title to Why Chilean Food Sucks For Vegetarians? Even if we know that so many people agree?

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158 Comments

  1. I think as vegetarians, you two were always going to find it a bit of a struggle to find really good food in South America. I was a veggie for over 10 years straight and have been on and off most of my life. So I do know what I am talking about. Although there were veggie options in a lot of the restaurants we went to in Chile, they tended to be pasta or rice-based dishes, nothing inspiring. Unless you cooked your own food, I can’t see how you girls would have really liked the food. We had really lovely meals, including pizza, in Chile, but yes, we did pay a lot for some excellent food and not so much for good food, but we ate meat. Considering we travelled from Argentina, where vegetables were pretty much non-existent, we were in fruit and veg heaven by the time we got to Chile and were ecstatic to have something other than steak.

    We also noticed that there were loads of hot-dog shops in Santiago and elsewhere! We never did try a completo, but I couldn’t get my head around eating one as a meal and I would never do it at home.

    I wouldn’t say the food in Chile sucked, but I could see how it would for you. Poor choice of words I think and considering how much you enjoyed the country apart from the food, well, you can’t like everything. Try not to let it get you down. All the best! x
    Arlene recently posted..Highlights of Arica, Chile

  2. I totally agree with you, girls!
    A couple years ago I went to Chile as an exchange student (kind of an Erasmus thing) and lived there for a year (the University was in Santiago, but I travelled almost the whole country).
    I have to say that chileans are really nice people, I made a lot of friends there and people where always really nice to me. The country is breathtakingly beautiful (you girls missed some of my favorite places there – the altiplano region around Arica, like Parque Nacional Lauca, Reserva Nacional las VIcuñas and Parque Nacional Volcan isluga, as well as the Carretera Austral – it has to be one of the most scenic routes in the world).
    I really enjoyed my time there but, as you girls said, the food… just SUCKS!! In fact everytime I went to eat in some restaurant I felt homesick, lol (glad I had a kitchen for myself!). I believe I tried almost every dish and I think I really liked only one: the cazuela de marisco I ate in Valdivia (I love seafood, so that one was delicious… I also liked the machas a la parmesana, I bought so many machas in La Vega during my year in Chile!). The empanadas, humitas, sopaipillas, chorrillana and almost every other dish was tasteless. The food was overpriced and very unhealthy – they put a lot of salt and fat in everything! And they drink too much coca cola! A lot of my friends never EVER drink water, all they drink is coca cola! No wonder there are a lot of fat chileans!!
    And for all those people saying that “eating in restaurants is not the same as eating your grandmother or mother’s food”, well… I actually ate some of my friends mother’s food and it SUCKED as well!!
    And for Gerardo, who wrote that chileans rock in bed… are you sure you wanna talk about that? xD

  3. aca en chile no le echamos picante o aji a los platos por que se cocinan bien y nuestra comida es delicada y lenta al paladar y no tragar y tragar por que tiene picante.
    Como cresta se va a degustar una comida con picante si lo unico que quieres es tomarse un vaso de agua.
    En chile con cuea te enfermaras del estomago comiendo en la calle.
    El picante disfraza la falta de preparacion y de higiene de los platos, si le echas mucho picante es por que quieren matar las bacterias de esos platos, por eso los paises donde no hay buenas costumbres higienicas hay harto picante.
    Aca a chile se viene a disfrutar y no a comer comida picante giles, se van a la vega o a cualquier feria y 5 lucas te compras un carro lleno de frutas y verduras.
    Por algo chile es un exportador de fruta, es la mejor y mas dulce estas alemanas se comen una naranja que sabe a agua, aca en chile te comi una naranja y sabe a eso.
    Lo que pasa en que son de alemania la capital mundial de la tolerancia y del amor al projimo.ver 2GM.
    La comida peruana es mas mala, comi aji de galliina era como comer vomito de guagua con pollo molido, NO CAMBIO MI POLLO ARVERJADO CON PAPAS FRITAS O ARROZ, LE PEGA 100.000 PATADAS A LA COMIDA PERUANA LA COMIDA CHILENA.
    the chilean food is the slow food.
    YO CREO QUE EN CHILE DEBE EXISTIR UNOS 10.000 PLATOS POR LO MENOS, CADA COMUNA CADA PUEBLO TIENE 1.000 SECRETOS MIL SABORES.
    Por algo Pablo Neruda le dedico un poema al caldillo de congrio, y no a las prietas.
    Lo que si creo es que el ser aleman es muy diferente al ser chileno y nunca van a entender que es la comida, alguien que no sabe ni sabra que es comer en verdad.
    Solo tragan no viven la experiencia del cocinar, es como ir a las torres del paine y comerse un completo.
    No visitar chiloe una minga con un curanto o la region del biobio y compartir en una ruca la comida mapuche.
    Ir al valle del elqui y tomarse un pisco.

  4. I have never been to Chile, but I must compliment the people on how original they can be in coming up with insults. Get the sand out of your vagina, Eff yourself with a soyburger and freeze to death with junkfood… I mean.. That’s gold! Very creative and funny!

    I wouldn’t worry too much. You were voicing your opinion. Maybe the title was too harsh, tough luck. You sometimes cross a line in trying to get a point across. It’s a learning process in writing, and as humans we all want to be liked by everyone. It’s better to believe in your message, your opinion and story, and be liked by a couple, than to stand for nothing and be liked by everyone. Hugs!
    Explorista recently posted..Ik vierde mijn vijfjarig relatiejubileum met de Duitse politie

  5. I think a fair title would have been “Why we did not like Chilean food”, as it is your personal experience. Your tittle besides being insulting, implies that that is the absolute truth (“because I say so, everybody should believe me”). You should let other people see/taste/judge for themselves. Imagine how it would be if I have a bad experience with a person from X country and then say “Why people from X place sucks” . I would be making a totally arbitrary generalization.
    That is what creates prejudices and intolerance, which is something, I imagine, you are totally against. I can see, and I do not know if you realize, that some of the supporters of your article and attackers of the Chilean food, are not only attacking the food. That should tell you that those are probably people from a neighboring country, where they are taught from an early age, to hate Chile. However, they find it totally fine to profit from living there (so I would not consider those opinions to be for valid reasons) .
    The fact that you are vegetarians make culinary choices more limited too. On another note, given that you are from USA and Germany, countries without internationally recognized cuisine (too much junk food in one country and pork, cabbage and potatoes in the other, I would not give such a harsh statement.
    It is OK to dislike a country’s food, obviously, you are entitled to your opinion, but is not fair to give a categorical judgement based on personal experience. Anybody can be of the opinion that: “the vegetarian diet is insipid and lacking in nutrients”, which doesn’t make it true just because that person is a carnivore and would not conceive eating just veggies.

    I like spicy food myself but I realize that the spice is taking and covering up the real taste of the food. So when I am eating a tomato and I add pepper or another condiment, I am not tasting the tomato anymore. But I know that. Spices, as someone pointed out, where used primarily to preserve food and to mask the odor or taste of decaying food, specially in countries where elevated temperatures can spoil food very quickly. Also, it is an ignorant assumption to think that because the name of the country is Chile, food has to be spicy. The origin of the name has nothing to do with the name of the Mexican spice.

    Having said that, I do not condone the vulgarity directed towards you due to hurt feelings, but I guess it’s the Chilean impulsiveness. I wish you both have better food experiences in your next travels.

  6. What was it that they keep saying about food? Ah yes, “we are what we eat.” I suppose from a cultural standpoint, if you think the food sucks, it goes without saying that you think that the people suck, too. Not exactly what you planned on doing when you posted your article, I know.

    All the best to you, girls. By chance, will you be traveling stateside? Montana’s nice and cold this time of the year, but you can always come during spring or summer. Just a thought.

  7. Girls, as you already sad: bloggers have their own opinion, its your blog, your website. As simple as that. Apart of that, I find really good your attitude of asking people what they think about the discussion. Anyway, people will always criticize what we do… But not everybody have the guts to say what they think. Good trips for you 2!!
    Lucila R. recently posted..Pinguins na Patagônia

  8. The entire nation of Kazakhstan got upset at the Borat movie. The entire nation of Slovakia (my homeland) got upset by hyperbolic comments John Stewart made on his show to make a completely unrelated point. The viewers of both programs saw through the satire, the entire nations didn’t. Actually, that’s not true. Only the humorless, uninformed individuals within those nations got upset because they took the information out of context. And they just may also have long straight objects stuck up their you-know-whats.

    I know it’s hard to be on the receiving end of all the hate but consider the source.

    You wrote a blog post, which is by definition personal, and in that blog post you informed your readers about a topic (thanks, I learned a lot before my trip to Chile). You took a stand. Hats off to you. More please.
    Peter Korchnak @ Where Is Your Toothbrush? recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Sam Poh Buddhist Temple, Brinchang, Malaysia

  9. Completely agree, and given that there are so few vegetarian Chileans, I think it would be hard to disagree with you in this article at all. Being a vegetarian sucks in a carnivorous country, that’s just the way it goes. My experience with “vegetarian” food in Chile has been that it is not a cuisine at all. During the year that I lived in Valdivia, southern Chile, ensalada mixta is about all I found to eat in chilean restaurants, and quite frankly I could be blind and drunk and still make a better salad myself. Moreover, to my rage I was charged the same for my puny salad and meatless completos as my friends for their huge hunks of meat. Forgot eating out as a vegetarian in Chile. Go home, grab some veggies from the market and make yourself some good food. It will be 10x as good and cost you half the price. For all I know the meat and seafood may be wonderful, but don’t even try eating out vegetarian.

    There are definitely some delicious chilean foods out there. In my time in Valdivia I had some of the best fruit conserves, cakes and cookies. Chilean sweets are decadent and amazing. Even something as simple as homemade chilean bread and preserves are great. Still I understand what you mean when you say Chilean restaurants are lack luster. I find they still have a ways to go be on par with home cooking, at least in southern Chile!

  10. Been in chile for 7 weeks now. I have tried the seafood on the northern coast. Not bad, very fresh, but nothing to write home about. My favourite so far has been porotos from the market behind the la vega markets. The best meal I had was in La Serena at an irish owned vegetarian restaurant. Chilean food is nothing special. I agree with articles regarding their food. Its bland.

  11. Hi! I’m from Chile… I’d like to say that I’m agree with some, just some of your opinions, but that its, it’s just your opinion.
    I didn´t know that you are vegetarian which explains a lot, we are not a country that has developed a lot of varieties of healthy food or vegetarian, just a few years ago this type or this way to eat it’s become “popular”, I can’t say a lot about that because i like meat so I’m not really interested in it, but i can tell that it’s very difficult to judge “chilean food” if you didn’t really try it, but maybe you try potatoes, the chagual (if you were in the north) the lettuce or many other vegetables (obvious) and you can´t tell that they aren´t delicious.
    I agree with the thing about the identity of our gastronomy, but with all the respect that you can deserve you can´t judge a country for their culture, or for their traditions.
    1- The street food exists in every country in this world and isn´t bad to eat it.
    2- The pizza it´s not from here, so if you want eat good pizza in Latinamerica go to Argentina, the same with the pasta.
    3- we are a country of meat and seafood (specially seafood) we got 4.000 km of coast and we got fishes that in any other country you will find (so do not expect that vegetarian food was good, we only had the ensalada del huerto, and the famous César salad so please, please do not expect that in a restaurant had a vegetarian menu because it isn´t a real menu, that’s why in Santiago someone create a vegetarian restaurant)
    4- The cheese in Chile i agree is not the best, but we can`t do a lot about that theme… but again good cheese … Argentina unfourtanally and pain in my heart i have to say it.
    5- About the sopaipilla, i HATE when someone puts mayonesa in it, it´s horrible you have to eat it alone, with chancaca or with pebre, and any other thing is kill the tradition.
    6- The mote it is a kind of wheat so it isn’t weard eat it, we are chileans not thailands … (if you want thai you go to Thailand (what i’m trying to say is that you can’t compare traditions or cultures)

    And to the end you didn’t try the real food at least not the traditional so yes, i think you have to specificity that wasn’t good food for vegetarians. You go from place to place but you didn’t take the time to look what you are really looking for, so please don’t despise the Chilean food, because you didn’t really tried.

    Here i let you some restaurant in Santiago if you want to come back, especially for you:
    – Vegan bunker
    – Quinoa
    – El huerto
    – El naturista
    – El árbol
    – La chacra
    – Vop café bistró
    – La Fraternal

    Don’t came to Chile expect eat traditional food, because we don’t have traditional vegetarian food just a lot of influences for many other countries.

  12. I saw how everything started, with a tweet to your link from a chilean guy with many followers. (i think he’s a journalist).
    Then it reached the most read newspaper in chile (a magazine printed like a newspaper who only publishes gossip and irrelevant articles). Then the your article caught flames.

    And now, the same thing happened with this article http://etramping.com/rather-go-hungry-eat-filipino-food-again/ against filipino food.

    And they got almost the same conclusions about how the headline can affect the readers reaction.

  13. Freaking ignorants, what do you know about food?, going to a lot of restaurants doesn’t necessary make anyone an expert in food and i don’t think these two little freaking ignorants are the exception.
    Pasta pesto? …..Are you fucking serious?, that is not whatsoever Chilean food, anyone with a little bit of food knowledge knows that pasta and pesto are both Italians you fat ignorants and uglies by the way, pasta is not from Italy but they are the ones that eat it the most.
    What kind of food did you try? and who told you we have bad vegetarian options?, I think whoever was giving you advice of where to eat, it was more ignorant than you, did you try a humita? or an alcachofa with a simple vinagreta? or a vegetables charquican?, a cheese empanadas?, sopaipillas with pebre?, churros con manjar?, ensalada chilena o una apio palta?, leche nevada?, the old berlin with apricot jam?, a classic lentejas with caramelised onion on top and cheese?, porotos granados o con riendas?…..are you fucking kidding me?, seriously?, I can keep telling you heaps of more vegetarian option and places where to find all this!
    I think you both are immature, ignorant and ugly, now fuck off you both little shits with no clue of what you are talking about.

  14. Girls, please don’t let those stupid ignorant rude comments get to you. Chileans have a thing when people criticize their food and lack of culture. The fact that people choose to ignore your other amazing articles about this beautiful country is pathetic. The landscape of this country is one of the best in the world, but appearantly people can’t deal with the fact that they have been eating garbage their entire life. And to one of the commenter above that criticized Peruvian food: you should probably get your palette operated and try it again. I get that Chileans love their food, but I will never understand why.

  15. I’m from Chile, but i basically agree with your opinion and i’m amused by my fellow chileans…like, wow, why so pressed?. There are some typical dishes i really enjoy, like seafood, pastel de choclo, porotos con rienda, mote con huesillo, sandwiches and pastries ( because i really like avocado and dulce de leche), but i find most of the typical food bland and boring. Sometimes i eat stuff like cazuela, empanadas de pino, completos, humitas, when i’m hungry, but i could totally live without those insipid dishes.
    Thankfully, we have a good number of peruvian immigrants, so we can enjoy affordable peruvian and nikkei food…dayum!. Indeed, our salads are usually terrible. In Santiago and Los Andes we some nice vegetarian/indian/falafel places, but in the rest of the country, you’ll have to cook your own food if you are vegetarian/vegan.

  16. I am french, married with a chilean man, and I have been living in Chile for 10 years now… and I think chilean food is a disaster, sorry chileans. I ran a turistic refuge for 6 years in the Maule region and the foreign visitors were so happy to be able to eat my home-made bread, because, yes, even the chilean bread is bad… Half my joy of living just disappeared because of the poor culinary quality of the food here, it is even difficult to find good ingredients to cook at home, at least here in Angol… so sad because it is a beautiful country!

  17. Ok, I am Chilean and Nationalistic but you are right! Chilean food is not good at all, if you compare with peruvian, thai, argentinian, mexican, indian and a big etc. Sorry, but it is true. We don’t have a good cousine. Our seafood is great, but is not as popular as we think. As much as it hurts my national pride, but the true is the true. Our food is boring..

  18. This is the only time I visit your blog, but I have to say: it makes me sad that people are taking travel advice from travellers who trash the parts of their travel that don’t live up to their (ridiculous) expectations. Based on the one article I believe your attitude towards travelling is terrible and I’m not interested in reading anything else, to be honest.
    Food says something about the people who eat it and their culture. You learn from it. You learn about what people like and what they consider important. You learn, for example, that Chileans are mostly not vegetarian, rather than hating on the lack of options catering to your preferences. You learn that we like spice on certain dishes, not others, rather than lamenting whatever disappointment you had because you were expecting Mexican. You learn that we enjoy our cardboard empanadas (whatever that means) and why. You learn why a mote con huesillos is the best thing you could possibly drink on a hot summer day, rather than just writing it off as weird.
    Of course, you don’t have to learn all those things. You can just experience, compare, and decide it’s all shit because it’s not like what you’re used to or what you expect. And that’s fine. I think most people do that in different aspects of their lives.
    I just find it disappointing that someone who claims to have travelled so much maintains an attitude like that.

    Not that any attacks toward you are justified, of course. You are right to respond to the attacks. It just frustrates me that you stand by your own hateful comments.

    I just think you’re doing the whole travel thing wrong.

  19. Hi Girls or just dany by Now, funny thing how this comment become viral for all the wrong reasons.

    First I want to say I am chilean, I read the post and I didn’t fell offended at all.

    I would like to apologyze for all the hate you have received from the fellow chileans, is a commong thing here people overreact, there is to much stress and haters haha.

    I totally agree with you about the boring food, more if you are a vegetarian I will say probably you have no options.

    I didn’t read if you ever had a cazuela, probably that is the best chilean food you can find.

    All the streetfood is just unhealty, and probably it has the view that everything has here that is make the most money wiht the less effort.

    Street completos, street pizzas and almost everything here is just hangover food.

    Also here is extremely expensive everyything, and it should not have to be expensive to be good, I use to travel a lot also on a budget, normally eating in small eateries or even the streets and food was lot more delicious. and cheap.

    To finish the worst thing here is coffee, after living in Melbourne you get spoiled and drinking coffee here is awfull.

    Well I support your blog, and sorry for all the hate.

    Keep on travelling 😀

    1. What an idiot apologize for the whole country, is fine if you do not like it, but your “chupapico” attitude with foreigners is pathetic.

      Qué idiota disculparse en nombre de todo un país. está bien si no te gusta, pero tu actitud “chupapico” con los extranjeros es patética.

      Saludos, un chileno viviendo en “la nación de las hamburguesas y los hot dogs”.

  20. I’m a little late to all this- but I’ve lived in Chile for almost three years. Like you, I’ve traveled all over the world. I’ve eaten the jaw-dropping dollar plate of Pad Thai in Bangkok. I get it. The food here in Chile is consistently disappointing. We’ve had insanely expensive dinners, as well as what you were eating. 99 percent of the time we leave a restaurant a hundred dollars poorer and shaking our heads.
    Here’s the thing. Chileans can not handle criticism. At all. And then you have to deal with all of the people who came here once, fell in love, and have this lingering romantic vision of the country. There are lots of great things about the country, and I add to my list of cool things to do and see here every day. But Lord help you if you utter one word that isn’t completely solicitous. I learned the same lesson, and I didn’t even criticize Chile. I used the word Castellano in a blog post, and I don’t even know how all the people who left comment even found me. Everyone wanted to educate me on how that term refers exclusively to Spain. Anyone who doesn’t live under a rock know that. However, people use it here. I get memos at work that refer to another version being available in Castellano.
    I don’t know why, but Chile is very thin-skinned. You have to tread lightly here.

    1. yet another butthurted foreign, you see, in here WE canc riticize our country, not stupid foreigners, because it was your people the ones who systematically extorted our politicians, installing nazi hideouts, reselling weaponry, manipulating the press and even promoting a coup d etat that ended with the lives of thousands of people, we owe nothing to foreigners, and in the best case you should be thankful if chileans are nice to you and keep your mouth shut because from where you come from, also comes our worst disgraces, in general, in the past, present, and in unavoidable future, our country is being exploited in order to fill your social insurance so your people can then complain because you have to now experiment the tip of the iceberg we live at as the european unions falls in pieces

  21. I’ve been living here in Chile for 3 years now and I agree that the food is not the best here.. some dishes are nice, but they are still quite plain. In my opinion they are very homely dishes, not something you really want to go to a restaurant to order. My biggest issues with the food here is the excessive quantity of salt that is added, the very boring salads, the fact that coriander is in EVERYTHING (I hate coriander) and the fact that most things are fried. However, there are other things that are really great, for example, I love the fact that you can get freshly made juice in basically every restaurant and that its not that expensive. I love how much avocado they put on the sandwiches, its delicious! In most other countries they are really stingy with avocado :). And if you are into seafood, its true that it is very fresh here.

  22. Yes, the title of your article was harsh.Would you like me writing a post about how Food from the US sucks ass? I dont think so.
    While I truly despise food in the US, simply because is not fresh, but rather with a plastic taste, full of chemicals and tons of fat and sugar in it. I think it would be a waste of time and me just being a hater if I decided to talk about it.
    Here’s the thing, yes I am chilean, but my husband was born and raised in the US.We traveled to Chile 3 months ago. He tried mariscal, machas a la parmesana, empanadas de marisco in Valparaiso and he fell in love with the food. He said it tasted so fresh and delicious, and coming from a picky american guy who mostly eats junk food, that is a huge compliment. Coz even though he says he likes good food, he always end up eating tv dinners, burritos and pizza like any other person I know here.Then we went to the south of Chile and tried this homemade cheese, he could not stop eating it. He said it was so creamy and tasty, which I agree. Ive looked all over the US for a good cheese like the one we make in my hometown and have not been able to find, probably coz there’s not such a thing in the US. He tried humitas, didnt like them that much, but he did love pastel de choclo, our chilean style bbq, for which we actually use a “disco”. He loved curanto, charquican, chacarero. He also enjoyed our pisco sour, terremoto and of course wine. So please next time you want to talk shit about some country’s food, please be more careful with the way you write it, coz thats your personal opinion. The fact that you dont like chilean food doesnt mean chilean food is horrible. Like myself, I hate american food, but I dont go around telling people how american food sucks,which probably most people already know anyway

    1. I’m Chilean and the food is terrible. Been eating it all my life. If you eat shitty bland food like my parents generation, you end up having no idea what good food is. And your husbands opinion is irrelevant considering he seems to be the typical Fat American except there are tons of American who actually cook. Of course he’ll like bland food if all he’s had is plastic food.

      Chile is many things, i love it, but the food is terrible and Chileans need to be more open minded and realize that it’s now a first world country and it’s not the 80’s anymore. Sopaipillas are an embarrassment to humanity.

  23. I’m a bit late (sorry), I’m Chilean and I’d like to thank you ladies for such a great and positive blog. I think almost everyone who has added a comment has missed one vital fact. When they say “Chilean Food” they actually mean “the food that you buy in a Restaurant,Street Kiosk, supermarket etc” whereas when many others say “Chilean Food” (including me) it means “the food that we prepare at home that is traditionally of Chilean origin”, hence the problem with the title of the original article. My experience of eating out in Chile is that unfortunately it is a Class-lead experience. So, in theory, the more you pay (and higher up the social strata) the ‘better’ the value should be, in theory only. Add to this the fact that from a certain class strata down Chileans don’t by habit go out to eat means that there’s very little competition and demand for better Restaurant value. On the other hand eating Chilean food prepared at a friend’s house, as an example, is a totally different and rewarding experience. Unfortunately tourists to Chile will not likely be invited to some locals house. I’d say once other social problems are solved in Chile the eating out experience will improve. For the moment what is being sold in many places out there is a shadow of what it could really be.

  24. I agree to disagree, I don’t think you are in a position to judge the food considering you are vegetarians, it is obviously not a country for your culinary taste.
    If you were Anthony Bourdain, which you a far from, most people would take your opinion into consideration.
    You should have written something along the lines of ‘why Chilean vegetarian food sucks’
    For people who appear to be well traveled and cultured, I am going to say that I am pretty disappointed about that specific post.
    Of course I understand you are probably addressing this blog to your friends and bad timing, that particular one went viral…
    But he, who cares about people opinions, it is a free world, and the freedom of speech gives you the right to write whatever you feel like, but sadly it feels like the roots of american ignorance and racism resurfaces in your sub conscience…
    Good luck in your travel! and watch your back in Chile, lol 😉

  25. Altough I respect your opinion, there’s two big points you really messed up,
    First of all, the title itself is offensive, work on that for the next time (It doesn’t mean that everyone will be offensive, but they do have their reasons if they get offended) and misguiding, you don’t own the absolute truth, you can say “why we didn’t like it”
    Secondly, the title doesn’t even match what you reviewed, you didn’t taste “Chilean food”, you tasted the “Vegetarian food available in Chile’s restaurants and Fast Foods”, 2 very different things in a country that has it’s main focus on seafood and meat, and in which the typical dishes are “home-made oriented”.

  26. Hello girls,

    In spite of everything… I just MUST say that you should be EXTREMELY shameless doing criticism about the chilean cuisine BEING BRITISH!! … My God, How you did dare to say a word… ??
    I am currently living in the UK and I just wanna come back to Chile ASAP just in order to have a proper meal, a proper lunch!!
    Sorry girls, but that is my humble opinion.

    All The Best.

    1. Fabian en el artículo está claramente escrito que una de las chicas es de Estados Unidos y otra es alemana. Yo soy Inglés viviendo en Chile (Concepción) y sé que la comida típica británica es muy mala. No me ofende que una persona lo diga, ya sea extranjera o no, dado que ya es un hecho bien establecido. Tambien diría que la nacionalidad de las escritoras es de poco relevancia al final como el blog se trata de viajar, por lo tanto se puede esperar que hagan comparaciones entre varios aspectos culturales que las chiquillas encuentran por sus viajes alrededor del mundo, la comida siendo un ejemplo.

      Yo también soy vegetariano (al contrario de algunos comentarios, no quiere decir que no podamos formular una opinión acerca de la gastronomia de un lugar si no comemos carne, aquellxs que dicen que no haya mucha gente vegetariana en Chile tambien se equivocan, quizas sean más que lo que piensan, yo he conocido a mucha gente vegetariana durante mi tiempo acá por lo menos) y la comida chilena (hablando por lo general) la encuentro una basura. Comparto el sentido que han expresado las chicas en la publicación original, la comida chilena simplemente no tiene los sabores sutiles y delicadas de la gastronomia peruana, y todo lo que comí durante mis viajes en Peru, Brasil, Argentina y Uruguay triunfa inmensamente a la comida chilena. No hay comparación. No creo que sea por casualidad que acá la gente tenga el costumbre de echar merkén (algo que sí encuentro rico) en abundancia sobre cada plato – en la mayoría de los casos es la única cosa que le da un poco de sabor a la comida.

      Las personas que se ofenden, llegan a escribir comentarios personales feos y maleducados hacia las chicas y lo toman como una competencia de entidades de otra nacionalidad contra la identidad cultural chilena pierden el sentido del artículo, y a través de caerse en su nacionalismo ciego y confundido, no logran más que exponer su propia ignorancia y estrechez de mente. En todo caso, con putearnos no nos van a convencer que nos equivocamos y que, de hecho, la comida chilena sí sea rica, sino que tal vez Chile tenga unxs habitantes tan insípidxs como la comida.

      Por supuesto, la calidad de frutas y verduras acá queda muy alta, y ni hablar del vino – un manjar. No todo está perdido, solo me parece una lástima que la gente pueda ignorar todo lo positivo que los extranjeros tenemos que decir sobre nuestras experiencias acá y fijarse rabiosamente en lo poca sabrosa que encontramos la comida.

      I don’t think the girls have anything to justify about their original post, I’ve been living in Chile for a year and I had already read and been told prior to arrival that the general status of food here is bland and a bit uninspired. My personal experiences here only confirmed this, and I’d even go as far as saying that given Chile’s relative geographic isolation from the rest of South America it almost makes sense that whimsical notions of flavours and seasoning have over time been confined to generous dollops of palta, mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard. I will say though that I’d never have thought of putting sauerkraut on a (veggie) hotdog before in my life but now it’s something I find myself strangely enjoying from time to time. Also much to my amusement and confusion, they sell a kind of spice mixture in the shops here labelled ‘curry’ that contains not a speck of actual curry powder, the contents instead being an odd blend of turmeric, oregano(!?), black pepper and chilli powder. I find it pretty hilarious how there are still some angry nationalists getting all riled up as if their own cooking was being insulted, even going as far as bringing the girls own backgrounds (or rather sweeping assumptions and generalisations being made about them) into it as if it was in any way relevant to the topic at hand. Let’s face it, Chile is hardly a foodies haven, and will most likely leave adventurous palates disappointed – considering the world renowned Peruvian cuisine and delicious Argentinian pizza available over the respective borders, it’s really a no-brainer that Chilean food somewhat pales in comparison. And no one is saying that there aren’t exceptions, or that it’s impossible to eat well in Chile, but why can’t you make judgments based on the food that you happen to come across.. especially if passing through to visit the awe-inspiring natural beauty of the place, why should we hold our tongues because we ‘didn’t go to the right places?’ after all, a good dosa or curry in India isn’t hard to come by, neither do you have to go too out of your way to find good ceviche in Peru or a nice muzza in Argentina, having to make special provisions to find something tasty to eat in Chile doesn’t really reflect too great on the general standard of food in the country. And as Chileans themselves have adopted international food traditions to a considerable extent, especially with regards to the proliferation of sushi restaurants the entire length of the country, I think it’s somewhat telling that the mere notion of ‘Chilean food’ has a distinct lack of presence on an international scale, correct me if I’m wrong

  27. Hola, mi legua a pasado por un largo proceso de adaptación a la comida típica de cada región de mi país ( Chile) ya que tratado de recorrer ( muy costoso) pero creo que no basta con llegar a los mejores restaurantes o los callejeros para comer bien y sabroso , pero lo que rescato de mi país que la gente que lleva años viviendo en un lugar ( trato siempre de buscar esos lugares) cuentan historias con su comida, recetas que han pasado de generación en generación. Tengo la dicha de vivir en Arica región 15 de Chile ( 1 años acá) y sus frutas y verduras son fantásticas ya que está el Valle de Azapa y Lluta, donde cultivan sus frutos todo el año gracias al clima de este sector ( Primavera todo el año). Me considero una amante de la comida vegana. En el interior en dirección hacia el altiplano se encuentran los Krishna donde comes y te hospedas ( la comida es muy buena) donde ellos mismos cultivan y cosechan su comida. Bueno con todo lo que dije de mi experiencia culinaria, yo creo que la forma no fue la mejor de calificar algo tan general como LA COMIDA CHILENA. Creo que si vuelven ( sería muy bueno) recorran más lugares y prueben la comida que no salga en Wikipedia!! Chile es más que completos, sopaipillas, etc.

    1. It’s because of this why we don’t like gringos very much around here.

      You can go back to Chile anytime you want though.
      It’s a free country.

  28. I absolutely agree with you girls.. but i have to say that your article needs a more apt title.. because what they call food here is actually an insult to the word ‘food’ or ‘cuisine’.

  29. Chilean food is an insult to gastronomy. In Peru, the food is the best in the world. Talk about close extremes.

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