The Most American Meal Ever Is A Traditional Chilean Dish
Chile does American food better than America
Time To Read: 5 mins | April 23, 2017
— if this story ends mid-sentence, it’s because I’ve died of heart failure. Know that I was happy when I passed. Tell my mother that I love her, and please, someone, don’t just delete my browser history – throw the laptop in a river. Tied to several large bricks. For humanity’s sake.
I’ve worked professionally (meaning paid) as a food writer for years now. This is a source of much amusement amongst my family, because they had to live through my early years, when I’d order nothing but chicken fingers at restaurants and throw nightly riots around the dinner table if anything remotely healthy landed on my plate.
I’ve since improved dramatically in this regard, but that doesn’t mean my preferences have changed. So when I heard that chorrillana was a thing, I was more excited than Scooby Doo stoned at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
The dish is most comparable to poutine, except infinitely better. I feel comfortable saying that because, while the claim is questionable, Canadians are scientifically proven to be the nicest humans on earth, and as such they’ll shrug off this insult to their national dish. “Well, we still have maple syrup, eh?”
What the Chileans do is take a plate of French fries, then stack beef, grilled onions, and fried eggs on top.
If you listen closely, you can hear Ron Swanson spontaneously sprouting an erection all the way from Pawnee.
Usually the dish is served as a large appetizer for two or four people. Apparently they don’t want you to have a coronary incident alone. But wander around Santiago’s streets long enough, and you can convince a restaurant to make you a lonely-sized portion. Which is exactly what I did.
Now, to back up a tick, the trickiest part of becoming a writer in any specific field is learning the verbiage. You have to know how to describe particular stuff to people who really care about that particular stuff. You can’t write about technology if you can’t intelligently discuss processor speeds and hardware advances. You can’t write about porn if you don’t know the proper verbiage for different positions and body types. And you can’t write about food if you fail to understand concepts like complementary flavors and clever pairings.
As an experienced food writer, I can tell you there’s nothing complementary or clever about chorrillana. It’s simply every single food that people like, piled on a small plate. It is the Oceans 11 of food; shove every actor everyone unanimously loves into a single item, and boom, you’ve got a winner.
The whole isn’t greater than the sum of its parts, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun.
Thus, when you take a step back and think about the ingredients, it’s the most American dish you could possibly imagine. Rare meat and oil-drenched onions and fried potatoes? It practically sings the Star Spangled Banner on the way to your table.
And to those of you saying, “No, what’s American in 2017 is kale and organic chicken and free range eggs” — $20 says you’re the same people that still don’t understand how Trump got elected. Because instead of trying to understand middle America, you dismiss everyone who doesn’t agree as a redne
photo: the only wall hanging my first chilean apartment had was this square print of marilyn. i dunno, kinda cool.