Day 2 – Food Shopping & Culture in Chile

Ayla Schroepfer
            Today during day 2 of our Chile experience we got to see a local open food market. The market is open every Wednesday and Saturday in which people grab their fruits and vegetables for the week to prepare meals. The prices of the foods can vary depending on the harvest and weather conditions. The currency that is used in Chile is pesos. $1.000 CLP (Peso Chileno) equals about $1.00 USD. When setting up the market some people set up their stands the day before while some people set up their booths early in the morning around 5 a.m. Big trucks carry the fruits and vegetables to the marketplace for the people to set up. The open market is more convenient and cheaper in comparison to supermarkets. Supermarkets have quality food but are more expensive because they go through third party suppliers. Along with seeing the marketplace, we also got to see more of the architecture and artwork. We got to see some beautiful mosaicos which are ceramics that are very beautiful and colorful as shown below with the image of boats in the ocean. Mosaicos take time to make because of the process of collecting the materials and then dividing them by colors, textures, and shapes.

Sister Rachael

It has motivated me to begin planning to go to Chile. I loved the marketplace which reminded me of my home country where we have such like place for buying fresh food staffs from the firm.

Vanessa G.

I was able to experience involved learning about Chilean food, culture, and language. This was one of my favorite experiences as we got to experience an open market. As someone who goes to her local farmers market frequently, I was interested to see how a Chilean market would compare. While on the way to the market, Carlos shared with us that high buildings are not popular due to their experiences with frequent earthquakes. Once at the market, we were shown stands filled with fresh fruits and vegetables such as pomarola, palta, garlic, red onions, peppers, and corn. You can get a bag of peppers for little over a dollar which actually shocked me. Carlos explained to us that you can find produce at these stands for less than what you would spend at a supermarket. Many of these products may not be in the most fresh condition but they will still sell it at a lower price. To pay for these products, the Chilean

currency is in Pesos. Something I was not aware of, is that Chile does not use cents, therefore the smallest unit of currency is peso. These markets look very similar to those we find here in New Jersey. They have a wide variety of produce that you can choose from. Even some of the items for sale are similar to here such as raspberries, blueberries, olives, tomatoes, and lettuce. The vendors we were able to witness seemed very passionate and proud of what they were selling. They explained that not everything always runs smoothly with these types of businesses, they have to get up early to acquire their products and make sure their stand is ready for business. They were more than willing to share some of the processes they take to be able to have a successful business. Carlos explained that these stands are also very resourceful and busy. Wednesdays and Saturdays these vendors are open. They offer pre prepared options for meals, such as bagged salads which I thought was really smart! This is something I’ve never seen at a market. Each vendor had their own variety of produce, I saw a new item at each stand that I had not seen at the next and Carlos was more than willing to describe each item and what they would use them for. I would definitely have no money after visiting one of these markets as everything looked so good!

Idowu O.

I found day 2 of the tour interesting because it was about food, culture, and language- an integral part of the GS200 course. Being a lover of music and dance, I enjoyed the dance display of the beautiful couple. The name of the dance is ‘Cauca’. I liked how the tour guide explained each step of the dance and the clothes worn by the couple. The guy is Huaso- wearing a hat, an amanto which is a beautifully colored drape-like gown, and boots (which had feathers and looked elegant). The lady, Maureen, wore an elegant dress that allowed flawless movement. The cool part was that the dance represented a courtship between the rooster and hen. The tour guide explained that the dance is a national dance taught in schools and presented by international students which was nice.

The farmers market had a variety of fruits and vegetables. It was nice to the accessibility to fresh farm produce compared to the states here where most products are inorganic and the organic are more expensive. From my understanding of fresh organic produce, I know this means better health outcomes and lower exposure to toxins and diseases.

Hannah S.

I enjoyed the tour of the market a lot, seeing the things being sold made me feel like I was really there. All the produce looks so fresh and vibrant. Seeing the way we sell the same things but distribute/package them differently was very interesting to see and I would love to peruse one of the markets myself because the food looks amazing! Seeing architecture and openness of the space made me jealous because it seems so much less crowded than New Jersey because we pile buildings and roads on top of each other but it felt like there was so much sky and room to walk around. I can’t remember the name of the machine but the thing that carried them up to the next building seemed almost like a ski lift and looked really cool. I was shocked that they were unable to open the doors by themselves and had to wait for security which I feel like would be a great security asset for our schools here.

Gabriela T.

I loved watching the Food, Culture and Language video. My Grandparents are from Chile so I definitely know and love the food and culture. I couldn’t help but crave the cantaloupe when it was shown on camera. My grandma still to this day cuts up fresh cantaloupe for my brothers and I and it is absolutely delicious. Watermelon is another one of my favorites, it looked so fresh being in the hot sun in Chile. Nothing is more refreshing than fresh fruit in the summer. 

The views shown within the recorded videos are beautiful. One of my favorite things about Chile is the amazing scenery. Having a lot of family living in Chile I am always able to video call but I would be lying if I said I can’t wait to actually go. Considering the weather is not the same In America and Chile, I always catch a good laugh with my family on the phone, noticing the difference in our outfits. 

Leave a Comment