The 9 Chilean Cookbooks That You Must Read!

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Hi, I am Chef Zara. In this post, I will guide you through the Chilean Cookbooks.

I love discovering new food and more cooking with friends and family. One of the most common questions that I often get is for cookbook recommendations. I have created this guide for friends, family, and new friends alike. I hope that you enjoy our site.

About Food in Chile 🦀

Chile is a country with vast diversity in its ecology and climate, so there is significant variety in cuisine depending on the region. Should you choose to make some of the recipes in the cookbooks, you will find yourself immersed in the flavors of the rich and vibrant culture.

The cuisine has diverse flavors due to Chile’s European and Middle Eastern influences as well as the lasting local staples. You will find seafood in almost all dishes in the center and southern areas of the country. In the north, many regional dishes use olives, a testament to the country’s European influence. You can time travel to pre-Inca times by incorporating the staple crops of quinoa, potatoes, and maize, also known as choclo, provided by the soil in the high altitude of the Andes mountain range.

Let’s travel to the Andes with these 9 Chilean Cookbooks! 🍷

1. Tasting Chile

Why We Love It ❤️

This book is essential if you want to learn a variety of dishes. Cooks at any level can enjoy learning straightforward dishes like stews, and more seasoned cooks can dive into complicated and unfamiliar recipes like fried frog legs and blood sausage.

Review 📖

Tasting Chile is a quintessential guide to everything Chilean food. Including almost 150 regional Chilean dishes, this cookbook is packed with enough to keep you busy in the kitchen for years! The book goes into depth on ingredients and their origins in each region. The author even provides a glossary of Chile’s most popular fish and shellfish in both Spanish and English.

About the Author ✍️

Daniel Joelson is a food and travel author and blogger who has written for many publications, including Latin Trade and the San Francisco Chronicle. After living in Chile for five years, he explored deeper into the culture and cuisine of the country more, leading to the publication of Tasting Chile.

2. Secrets of Chilean Cuisine

Review 📖

Written in English and Spanish, this cookbook uncovers some of the best-kept secrets of authentic Chilean cuisine. The author, a Chilean Master Chef, provides you with all the tools to prepare a four-course meal. The book includes fresh appetizers like salsas and empanadas, warming soups like barbecue soup, and hearty entrées like tamales and Chilean corn pie. To finish your meal, the book includes sweet desserts like drunken pears and pumpkin fried dough. These treasured recipes are sure to be a hit at your next dinner party.

Along the way, you will also get a history lesson and learn about the diverse origins of Chilean recipes from the Master Chef himself!

About the Author ✍️

Roberto Marín is a professional chef who has written many cookbooks on traditional Chilean and Patagonian cooking styles, including Secrets of the Patagonian Barbecue. His books are written in English and Spanish, allowing a large audience to discover traditional Latin recipes. 

3. The Ultimate Chilean Cookbook

Why We Love It ❤️

This book contains rewarding, health-conscious, and authentic recipes for those looking to watch their waist and enjoy exciting new flavors. Full of eye-catching photos, this book provides flavorful dishes ranging from zingy marinated seafood to desserts sure to satisfy your sweet tooth!

Review 📖

As stated in the title, this cookbook provides 111 dishes for the home cook to master. The author hand-picked her favorite recipes and expertly illustrated them, making the dishes easy for even inexperienced cooks to conquer. These quality instructions make authentic Chilean cooking accessible to any home cook.

About the Author ✍️

Slavka Bodic is a cookbook author and a scholar of everything food. Born in the Balkans, she grew up with good food and a strong belief in traditions in her household. Her decision to travel the world ultimately grew her passion, publishing cookbooks on the cuisines of over a dozen countries.

4. Three Generations of Chilean Cuisine

Review 📖

From generations of tradition, this cookbook makes the crucial connection between Chilean food, history, and family, all essential values of Chilean culture. The book discusses the origins of each ingredient in each dish, emphasizing the impact of immigration on the cuisine.

The author curated 200 of her family recipes to appeal to food lovers worldwide looking for adventure in the culture of Chile. She carefully includes adaptations of specific recipes to cater to ingredients that are more easily accessible in the US while maintaining the soul of the traditional dishes.

About the Author ✍️

Mirtha Umana-Murray is a native of Santiago, Chile. She has great respect for the tradition of Chilean culinary art and places great importance on the passing down of family recipes. 

5. The Chilean Kitchen

Why We Love It ❤️

The book features countless cultural nuggets that give you context to the recipes. Due to the authors’ backgrounds in photography, the text is full of gorgeous photos that make the traditional recipes jump off the page.

Review 📖

A collection of over seventy recipes, this Chilean cookbook is organized by season so you can experience the cuisine as the locals do at different times of the year. The book focuses on local, fresh ingredients and explains methods so cooks at any level can experience Chilean cuisine. The organization of the book ensures a uniquely Chilean cooking experience.

About the Author ✍️

Pilar Hernandez is a central Chile native raised by cooks in the traditions of Chilean cuisine from a young age. She is an award-winning blogger and is heavily involved in her community.

Eileen Smith is a food and travel writer who relocated to Santiago, Chile, almost 20 years ago. Since moving to Chile, she has become an expert on Chilean cuisine and has written for some of the world’s top magazines.

6. Food & Cooking of Chile

Review 📖

Focused on authenticity, this Chilean cookbook helps you explore the country one recipe at a time. The book includes many traditional recipes. This book is unique in showcasing the author’s creativity with new dishes that draw from Chilean food traditions while focusing on authentic cooking.

The book provides essential historical background for each dish and ample explanation of each ingredient’s role. There is even a section on drinks that you can make to enjoy while you cook and during your meal too!

About the Author ✍️

Boris Basso Benelli is a native Chilean with a passion for the cuisine of his homeland. He worked as the head chef for a top restaurant in Chile but has since started a cooking school to share his passion for Chilean food.

7. Empanada Recipes

Review 📖

Focusing on the pastry known as the empanada, this Chilean cookbook dives deep into the endless varieties of empanadas found in Chile, Argentina, and other regions of Latin America. The empanada is a staple on any Chilean table.

Empanadas, though they may look simple from the outside, have a vast array of fillings and outer shells to mix and match. This book provides recipes for cheese, beef, chicken, veggie, ben, and even fruit empanadas for a sweeter bite! The book makes it effortless to learn the art form of empanadas and enjoy Chile’s favorite pastry.

About the Author ✍️

Book Sumo Press is a publisher of unique, easy, and healthy cookbooks. Their cookbooks provide a wide range of cultures to explore and step-by-step instructions to perfect every last one.

8. A Local Guides Recipes: Cookbooks of Latin and South America: Chile

Review 📖

This local guide’s recipe book provides a short but sweet Chilean cookbook for the more casual home cook. Though there are only 25 recipes, they are hand selected by the author to provide you with a snapshot of the best dishes Chile has to offer. The mouthwatering recipes are authentic, and the book makes it easy to follow along and learn the cuisine at your own pace. The recipes include unique, traditional food from different regions around Chile, like Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru.

At only $0.99 on Amazon, buying this cookbook is a no-brainer!

About the Author ✍️

Derrick Mason is an established food and travel writer and has published many “Local Guides Recipes,” focusing on South and Latin American food and culture.

Final Thoughts on Chilean Food

Chile is a country with a diverse historical background and a rich culinary tradition. From steamy empanadas to fresh seafood dishes like the ones eaten on different islands like Puerto Rico, the books in this list will provide you with an authentic, detailed look into every recipe you could need to immerse yourself in Chilean cuisine. Chile’s culinary history continues for generations to come.

Most of the cookbooks on the list also offer a cultural and historical background that will enrich your cooking experience and give you plenty of talking points if you invite friends to experience the cuisine you have mastered.

Any cookbook you choose from this list will allow you to experience the culture of Chile and will hopefully inspire you to take a trip to visit the country so you can experience the customs and cuisine first-hand!

Authentic Chilean Cuisine

Chilean cuisine uses some spices that are unique to the country. One example is boldo, a leaf used in dishes like stews to add an aromatic flavor. Merken is another spice created by indigenous Chileans, made by drying and smoking an indigenous chili pepper similar to a Mexican chipotle. The most popular spices, like cumin, cilantro, and Mexican oregano, are commonly used in cuisine across Latin America and are essential to any Chilean dish.

The country is famous for its hearty recipes to warm your soul after experiencing the cold weather of the Andes. You can also enjoy fresh seafood dishes while feeling the sun on your skin along the 2,500-mile Pacific coastline. A recipe that’s essential in any Chilean kitchen is a pastry called an empanada. Empanadas are most commonly stuffed with seafood, melty cheese, or a ground beef mixture called pino, and they are spiced with merken to add a smokey, gentle heat. Another classic dish, pastel de choclo, which is also eaten in Colombia, and Uruguay, is a comforting, heartwarming dish made from ground corn mixed with chicken, pino, olives, eggs, and spices like merken. Next is curanto, which at over 6000 years old, is one of the oldest recipes in the world! The recipe includes the traditional ingredients of fish, beef, a sausage called chorizo, potatoes, various vegetables, and boiled potato dumplings. Curanto is cooked in a 3-foot-deep underground stone oven wrapped in large leaves. Don’t fret: you can also cook it in your oven at home.

In the Chilean cookbooks reviewed below, you will go on a journey through the different regions of Chile, taking stops to discover the cuisine in the Northern, Central, and Southern regions. These dishes are just a taste of the rich cuisine of Chile. You should easily be able to find the ingredients in almost any grocery store. You will have no trouble diving into Chilean food; just make sure you cook with your heart! Tasting a country’s cuisine is a perfect way to experience a new culture. With this list of the 9 best Chilean cookbooks, your tastebuds can take a trip to Chile without leaving your home!

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Chef Zara is the founder and chief editor for Bakeaholic. She loves bringing smiles to people with the delicious visuals, smells, and tastes of food. Chef Zara's passion for baking started at a very young age, and she has never looked back since. She enjoys experimenting with different flavors and combinations, and takes great pride in creating unique recipes that will tantalize your taste buds. When she’s not whipping up something delectable in the kitchen, Chef Zara can be found exploring new culinary delights around the world. Chef Zara holds a Associate of Arts and Sciences from Kendall College and is a sought after private chef. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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