Chilean Bread

According to the Office of Agricultural Affairs of the USDA/Foreign Agricultural Service in Santiago, Chile: In per capita terms, Chile is the second biggest consumer of bread in the world after Germany.

Need I say more, Chileans really LOVE their bread. The bakery has been an important part of the Chilean community for well over a hundred years and it there to stay. There are extremely prevalent and are found in abundance throughout the entire county. Bread is a part of every meal and is usually purchased every day, sometimes twice a day. Now, (I add) needless to say, among the many bread eating choices, bread is eaten by itself, with butter/margarine, with jam/preserves, with mashed avocados, or in a sandwich. There are a variety of bread choices as well. I am going to let you know of the four most common types of bread.

Marraqueta (aka. Pan Batido) – This has to be the most popular bread in Chile. It is the closest thing to can get to french bread and sometimes is known as “pan frances”. It is divided in 4 sections and is easily torn apart by hand. It is crusty on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The bread was likely imported from the France (Alsace region) where this bread is known as “Sous-Brot” (“coin bread” in French). This is a good example of when an item, within a country, has regional names: In Santiago, it is known as a “marraqueta”, while in Valparaiso, it’s called “pan batido”, and lastly in Puerto Montt, it is called “pan frances”. Aside from all these “knicknames”, this is also a common bread throughout South America and is popular in Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Uruguay as well.

Halluya – This bread is the ideal bread for sandwiches. They are firm round, flat “biscuits” that have poke marks on the top which are made with a “picador” and is semi-spongy. These are sturdy due to their slightly higher fat content than other breads. They are able to hold together the hefty sandwiches that you frequently see in Chile without falling apart. The bread was originally cooked at high heat (possibly in embers or ashes). The roots of the word point towards the arab word ḥallún (holiday bun) and the Jewish hallah.

Pan Amasado – These are the bread that I associate most with home-made bread. These firm, round “biscuits” are hand kneaded and dense. They also contain a high fat content due to the addition or either butter/margarine/lard to the dough. They are great when out of the oven and are also hold up well after a few days (just needing a convenient heating-up).

Coliza (aka. Pan Cuadrado) – This bread is rectangular or diamond shaped with a flat top. The bread is made of layers and layers of dough and is easily pulled apart. It also appears that the bread is folded over and over. Sometimes colizas can be made in large format to be shared by many.

Pan de Molde – This is sliced white or whole wheat bread. This is the bread that we Americans are most familiar with and eat most. In Chile, this is normally found in the supermarkets in the city.

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