Curanto is traditionally a dish from Chiloe Island but, beloved as it is by many, has been adopted by different regions of Chile and can now be found at large in Patagonian areas and even Easter Island!
If you want to eat curanto prepared the traditional way, you must visit Chile during spring or summer (dry seasons) as the dish is meant to be prepared on a hole in the ground.
The ingredients are buried more than one meter underground and the hole is covered in red hot stones that dissipate the heat that will cook this mix of seafood and meats.
Curanto brings together the best of sea and land. It includes giant mussels, chicken, smoked pork, sausage, potatoes and chapaleles. Chapaleles are rich dumplings filled with minced meat. Everything is topped up with some herbs, garnished with a big yellow chili pepper and comes along side with a clear fish soup.
We tried curanto in a restaurant in Punta Arenas, where many locals where dining on the same dish – no doubt this feast of flavors makes for a great weekend treat, for those days when you will indeed have time to sleep it off after eating!
Many places don’t have curanto on their menu but rather prepare it on special days. On those days you will see in their window shops papers that read: