Cooking is a cultural expression, a way of combining and transforming products that nature gives us.

When we say "culinary arts" we are saying that the food communicates, "talks", connects and possesses a sense beyond feeding, nursing, reproducing.

If we take a look in the past at colonial chronicle's and writings, we can see that mapuche women created a diet based on vegetables (fruits, cereals, herbs, etc.) and meats (domestic and wild animals), that they maintain . A lot of vegetables and animal species have disappeared, however the actual ways for preparing those meals have not significant changes.

Tortilla al rescoldo

Bicarbonate of soda

Mix flood, water, salt and yeast. Knead in a wooden bowl or “trae queple”. Round off and let dough rest. Then bury in the rescoldo (ashes) of the fire (try to keep the heat of the fire). In some places, the ashes are mixed with sand to improve the cooking

(Source: "Mapuche cooking". Amanda Ibacache).

Empanadas de Horno de Digüeñes

Here you will find a different way to make empanadas.
The digüeñes are edible fungus that grow in the oak tree and ripen in october in souther Chile*.

Ingredients (for the dough)
6 cup floor
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 teaspoon baking powder

Ingredients (for the filling)
Red pepper
Hard-boiled egg

In spite of meat use digueñes to prepare the filling. Make the dough and form the empanadas with the filling and one slice of egg. Bake. Serve hot.


The "Curanto en Hoyo " is a traditional dish from the Great Island of Chiloé. The Island was inhabitated by the Chono people. Nowadays the Williche communities maintain the Chono people´s traditions.
The word "curanto"; comes from mapudungun "curantü";, that means "stone warmed up by the sun".
The original "curanto"; must be prepared outside of the house in a pit , in contact with "the warm mother earth";, stones, and leaves of nalca, which allow to seal the ingredients through steam cooking.

( Ingredients for more than 30 people)
- 1 coat of oyster
- 1/2 coat of clams or "tacas";
- 1/2 coat of mussels
- "Picorocos"; and "navajuelas"; to taste (optative)
- 1 coat of Potatoes
- 5 kgs smoked pork
- 5 kgs lamb
- Chicken
- Broad bean
- Leaves of cabbage
- Onions
- 4 kgrs pork sausage
- Milcaos *
- Chapaleles *

First of all it is necessary to dig a hole in the ground about one meter in diameter and some one-half meter deep.
Put firewood, coal and stones of regular size into the hole. Start a fire under the stones. When the stones are very hot, clear away the large pieces of burning wood and debris, leaving the hole filled with scalding rocks and embers.
Over the hot stones dump a first layer of clams followed by meat (chicken, smoked prok ribs), pork sausages, potatoes, vegetables, onions, leeks and finally mussels that require less cooking time.
These are covered with cabbage leaves upon which the "chapaleles" and "milcaos" are spread. All of this is covered by nalca leaves and
the large patch of earth and grass that was cut away from the earth to dig the hole is placed grass side down over the hole.

The curanto must be left alone to cook for 45 minutes. Then open the hole carefully so that don´t introduce dust in the baking.
A curanto is also served with "pebre,” a type of salsa made from diced tomatoes and onions, cilantro, lemon juice, cumin, garlic, aji, oil and salt.

* Milcao: a soft potato bread made out of grated potatoes. They are filled with chicharrones.

* Chapalele: a soft potato bread made out of mashed potatoes and raw grated potatoes.