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¡Viva Chile! -Celebrating “18”

Posted by on October 4, 2013

So I’m really behind on blogging! I’m sorry! I reached that inevitable point where I was taken over by all the traveling and things going on in Santiago along with the mountain of schoolwork that seemed to have come out of nowhere!

So rewind to about 2 weeks ago (yeah- really, really behind on this- sorry!) to Chile’s Independence Day Celebrations referred to here as “Dieciocho”  (“eighteen” in Spanish). September 18th is Chile’s official Independence Day, but the celebrations go on long after that (in fact my street still has all the flags hanging from the street lights for the holiday). During the “18” holidays, there are huge fairs in parks all over Santiago with great music, shows, dancing, artisan crafts, and lots and lots of FOOOOD. I ate so much. Maybe I went a little overboard, but I knew I may never get to experience this holiday again, so I wanted to take full advantage and try as many things as I could.

(this is about to digress into a food blog…)

My first mote con huesillo

One of the first new things I tried during the holiday is mote con huesillo. It’s a sweet drink (non-alcholic, mom and dad) that has chunks of dried peaches and husked wheat floating around. The actual drink itself tastes similar to drinking the syrup from canned peaches- a bit sweet for my taste, but probably very refreshing during the summer (which is when Chileans usually drink it).

sopaipilla with pebre

One of my all-time Chilean favorites is without a doubt the sopaipilla (pronounced so- pie- peeya). This fried piece of heaven is made out of some kind of pumpkin dough and is sold on many of the streets of Santiago. Top it off with pebre,  a fresh salsa similar to pico de gallo and the results are magical.

On the left is my host mom and sister making the anticucho and on the right is the finished product

One thing about Chileans- they love their meat. The anticucho is a skewer with meat, onions, and peppers… but mostly just meat. My host mom, sister, and I made some to celebrate “18.” Not too much to describe about these- it’s basically meat on a stick. (but very yummy meat on a stick, I should add).

Celebrating “18” in typical Chilean style

And last but not least, I can’t talk about “18” without mentioning the terremoto (Spanish for “earthquake”). This (not quite so non-alcoholic) drink is a staple at every “18” celebration. It has a questionable mixture of liquids going on, BUT it does contain a scoop of pineapple ice cream on top, so I think that can possibly qualify it as more of a dessert. When dealing with the terremoto it is definitely best to just have one, or else you’ll start feeling like there’s an earthquake going on around you and you’ll be feeling the aftershocks all during the next day (*don’t worry mom and dad that’s just what I’ve been told!!!)

All in all, my dieciocho experience was a great one. It was a wonderful opportunity to experience many aspects of Chilean culture, like this video I took of a Chinchinero, a one-man-band performer that plays several instruments while dancing.


I also got to hear a famous Chilean group, the Cuatro Cuartos, perform and I absolutely loved it! The show was packed and I had to stand on the back of a park bench to see, but it was so worth it.

Cuatro Cuartos

Since I’m so behind, I plan on writing another post very soon- so be looking out for an update on my trip to Chiloé!

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