When I first visited Chile a few years ago, I couldn’t get enough of the local food, from the empanadas to pastel de choclo to Merkén chile pepper. I was smitten. The country boasts a variety of topographies, but it’s most famous for its temperate climates, where, like in the Mediterranean and California, fruits and vegetables grow abundantly—and taste delicious.
Like those other areas, Chile is well-known for its good food and wine, and Santiago, the nation’s capital, is no exception. When I visited some friends there recently, I was struck by the number of restaurants and specialty stores focusing on native Chilean ingredients and the wonderful farm-to-table food they were making with all those ingredients.