Held within the gymnasium of a local recreation center, it was a family friendly affair featuring performances of traditional songs and dances from participants decked in traditional Huaso style garb, complete with; knee high boots, cropped jackets, widely brimmed hats, and intricately woven over the shoulder wool blankets.
The rear of the gym was outlined with tables of Chilean food and wine for sale. Empanadas, sausage sandwiches, pastries, pies, cakes, wines, and other goodies all made an appearance. While everything I tried was tasty & well prepared, one dish, Pastel de Choclo (Chilean Corn Pie), stood out above the rest.
Initially, Pastel de Choclo looks like a flat round loaf of cornbread. While the bright yellow cornbread based mass does hold the pie together, once the top is broken into the eater soon comes across bites of seasoned ground beef, onions, raisins, black olives, and hard boiled eggs in various and pleasing combinations. Thus, one is treated to sweetness from the cornbread and juicy raisins, savoriness from the onions and seasoned ground beef, an umami flavor from the black olives and hard boiled eggs, and a hint of spiciness from something I couldn't quite put my finger on (green chilies, maybe).
Needless to say, next time I have an opportunity to partake of Chilean food, I'll be keeping an eye out for Pastel de Choclo and its layers of flavor.
Coming Up, I'm planning to do a blog on organically produced/grown foods. To that end, I'm conducting a poll to gauge people's attitudes toward such foods. Please take a few minutes to answer the following two questions regarding you attitudes toward organically produced/grown foods in either the comment section, or within an email message.
1. How important is it to you to eat organically produced/grown food?
Crucial, I will ONLY eat organically produced/grown food.
Somewhat important, I'll buy it when I can afford it.
I don't care, I'll eat whatever tastes the best and/or costs the least.
2. If you answered "Crucial" or "Somewhat important" on question 1, please indicate the reason(s) for said answer below. Mark all that apply.
Organically produced/grown foods are healthier (contain more vitamins and nutrients) than typically mass produced foods.
Organically produced/grown fruits & vegetables are healthier (contain fewer pesticides) than typically mass produced fruits & vegetables.
Organically produced/grown meats & poultry are healthier (contain fewer hormones) than typically mass produced meats & poultry.
Organically produced/grown foods taste better than typically mass produced foods.
Organically produced/grown foods are better for the environment/ecology than typically mass produced foods.
Organically produced/grown foods make me feel closer to the Earth/God/Universe spiritually.
I want to support small family farms, rather than corporate farms.
Other, please specify.
Thank you for your time.