04 May 2008

El Completo y La Chorrillana

Let me *try* to explain to what these two things are. I say try, because you really have to be here and witness someone eat them (yes, they're food--well, sort of. Apparently they're edible, I don't believe it, but apparently they are) to really understand what I'm talking about. But, I'll try to get the point across with just words, and pictures. I'll try....
Alright, where to begin? Let's start with a completo. As maybe you might have guessed already, completo means "complete," and I'm pretty sure this thing is completely complete with anything and everything you could ever possibly want and then some. Stuff maybe you hadn't even thought you wanted, its got. But, I think I'm getting ahead of myself here.

As you *might* be able to tell from the picture, a completo is actually a hot dog. I know, I know, it's hard to believe that there's a hot dog under all that, but I promise you, there is. So, what is a completo? It's a hot dog bun, with a hot dog in there first. After you add the hot dog, you have to add a lot of other stuff so that it's "completo."
Next comes the tomato layer--diced tomatoes, that is. After that you spread on the avocado. It's important to not be stingy at this point. The more mashed avocado, the better. Finally, in order to make it complete, you spatula on (yes, I did just use that as a verb) the mayonnaise. As I know I've mentioned (item #6), you can never have too much of a "good thing" so, it's *uber* important that you don't go light on the mayonnaise. Just keep adding it. If you think you have too much, spatula another blob or two on and then you're probably about half-way there. GROSS!

That, is a completo. And that, you can get EVERYWHERE in Chile. I'll say it again, neither the photo nor the description really explain the magnitude of this national dish. You need to eat one to really understand. Maybe I'll see if I can get a video of one being prepared. Then, you might being to understand. The are popular late-night snacks, if you know what I mean. Completely disgusting, if you ask me. Rumor has it, they're starting to make something called a "papapleto" (papa-play-toe). The idea is the same, but instead of having a hot dog, it's made with french fries. Chile's aim at vegetarianism...?
"What," you ask "is a Chorrillana?" Well, it is the most revolting thing I think I've ever seen, yet, it is wickedly popular here in Chile. If you happened to glance at the photo to the left, you're probably beginning to get an idea as to what exactly it is. Again, I'll *try* to explain, but I think this is one of those "cultural" things that doesn't so much translate. But, I'll try.

At the base of this dish, is french fries. Clearly you can see them amassed there at the base of mountain of food. "Okay," you're thinking, "french fries sound good." And yes, alone, they do sound good. But, it doesn't stop there. No, no, it certainly doesn't. I wish I could say it does, but it definitely DOES NOT. Next, is the meat. Of course there's meat. There's always meat. Nothing is made here without meat--even "vegetarian" means with meat--can you sense my (minor) frustration with this? So yes, there's meat. PILES of meat. Depending on where you go, depends on what kind of meat you'll get. The one here in the picture had sausage. But, some of them come with a kind of pork-steak meat. Then there are others that come with ground chicken (I know, I know, please don't ask me to explain it. I don't get it either, that's why I'm writing about it!).
So anyway, there's a meat layer. Alright, meat and potatoes... that's not too bad. Well, no, until you add the NEXT layer. Eggs. Yes, fried eggs. "Why fried eggs?" you ask. Because (almost)everything here has egg in it. I think it's a safe assumption that Chileans are not lacking in the protein department. I wonder how their cholesterol is....
And finally to top it all off, people add ketchup, mustard (sometimes) and ALWAYS aji--the closest thing to "spicy" that exists in Chile. The picture above was ordered on a friends birthday and was consumed until it looked like that -->
Think, it (only) took 4 girls to clean that plate. That, is a lot of food. That, is just another plateful of Chile. Yummmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyyyy : )


Anonymous said...

Wow, that's disgusting. = ) megan

Anonymous said...

did you try some of it wi/ just an egg and french fry bite? hehehe.

Anonymous said...