Suffice it to say that in Chile, there is a specific kitchen job called Maestro Sanguchero, a chef who only does sandwiches.
Sandwiches are a well-loved and traditional quick lunch in restaurants in the city or near the highway.
The variety of toppings and combinations is fabulous, and you can go without repeating yourself for maybe a month.
Chilean sandwich culture is a vibrant and beloved aspect of Chilean cuisine. Sandwiches hold a special place in the hearts and stomachs of Chileans, and several distinctive types of sandwiches are popular throughout the country. Here are some key aspects of Chilean sandwich culture
- The Completo: Many debate if The Completo is a sandwich or not. It’s essentially a hot dog, but it’s loaded with toppings. A typical Completo includes sauerkraut, diced tomatoes, mashed avocado, mayonnaise, and mustard. The Completo Italiano (mayo, tomato, avocado) is widespread and often made at home.
- Chacarero: The Chacarero is another famous Chilean sandwich made with thinly sliced beef, green beans, tomatoes, and spicy green chili peppers called “aji verde or ají cristal.” It’s typically served in a round bun known as pan Frica, also popular in pan amasado or Marraqueta.
- Lomito: The Lomito sandwich is made with thinly sliced marinated pork, tomatoes, mayonnaise, mashed avocado and sauerkraut. It’s often served on a soft roll or bun.
- Ave Mayo: Ave Mayo is a chicken sandwich made with shredded chicken mixed with mayonnaise. It’s simple yet tasty and is often served with lettuce, tomato, and sometimes avocado.
- Barros Luco: Named after a former Chilean president, the Luco sandwich consists of thinly sliced beef and melted cheese. It’s a straightforward yet satisfying sandwich.
- Mechada: Mechada refers to slow-cooked beef stewed with spices and vegetables. The Mechada sandwich typically features this flavorful beef with toppings like mayonnaise, avocado, and tomatoes.
- Seafood Sandwiches: Due to Chile’s extensive coastline, seafood sandwiches are also popular. You might find sandwiches filled with ingredients like fried fish, shrimp, or crab mixed with mayonnaise and other seasonings.
- Bread: Chilean sandwiches are usually served on various breads, with marraqueta and pan amasado being the most common choices. These bread types have a distinct texture and flavor that complement the fillings well.
Chileans take their sandwiches seriously, and you’ll often find small restaurants and street vendors known as “picadas” specializing in these delicious creations. These places often have loyal followings and are considered the best spots to get an authentic Chilean sandwich.
In Chile, enjoying a sandwich is more than just a meal; it’s a social and cultural experience. It’s common to gather with friends or family to enjoy sandwiches, and they are a popular choice for quick, affordable, and delicious food.