Chile: The Global Gourmet

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But merkén and extra-virgin olive oil are not alone in the Chilean gourmet lineup. New products are making their debut abroad, including Ulmo tree syrup; traditional farmer-style cow’s milk cheese; heart-healthy avocado oil; herb and citrus-infused vinegar; Chilote garlic paste (from the southern island of Chiloé); natural mineral waters; chestnut flour; specialty salt; exotic jams such as murtilla (Chilean guava) or tropical Chilean carica grown in the Limarí Valley. Others are prepared game meats such as deer ham, ostrich sausage, and canned snails – the list of new, high-quality Chilean food products taking on the world just goes on and on.

Even seafood is getting an export update. Having three vastly different marine ecosystems, Chile has long been home to a great variety of seafood. While fresh-from-the-sea, healthy salmon still dominates the roster, trout, oysters, and scallops are only steps behind. Niche, hard-to-find Chilean products that are becoming increasingly popular with today’s discerning consumer – canned abalone, anchovies packed in olive oil, smoked salmon, and trout, even sea urchin – are fast becoming a welcome addition to worldwide food markets.

In the wine world, Chilean offerings have long been praised as great value for the money. But with the recent trend towards production of premium wines, connoisseurs around the world cannot wait to see just to what levels Chile can take its already celebrated wines.