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Pack your bags: Chile

I'm not going to beat around the bush, I love to eat! My dad was responsible for sparking two of my passions: travel and food. In my spare time, I wander around the globe looking for new adventures and delicious meals. The three posts in this series will show you just a few discoveries from my recent trip to Chile.

When I did some research before the trip, I found a few articles that said Chile is not a culinary hot spot. However, I beg to differ - who doesn't like fish, meat, hot dogs and wine?

Case-in-point: After a day of site seeing in Santiago, I was dying. A beer and a hot dog covered with avocado, tomato and mayo. Yeah, I know - It sounds a little gross, but I was desperately famished and was pleasantly surprised.

This was a tasty dish with a mix of textures and the base was a hot dog! From what I read, hot dogs or brats, were introduced by the northern Europeans. It's been a staple of the Chilean diet since.

Now, for the other side of the food spectrum...

We had incredible ceviche at a very modern restaurant called La Mar. I was so happy with our meal until I found out that there's a location 15 blocks from where I live in NYC! I guess this is globalization at its best.

This meal was full of wonderful surprises. The chef is Peruvian and prides himself on incorporating traditional ingredients info his food. One of the tastiest discoveries were Piqueos (Modern Peruvian appetizers inspired by traditional recipes). The small plates typically included yucca, sweet potatoes and corn cakes paired with meat, fish and vegetables. These small bites were a unique mix of textures, flavors and an overall presentation of common ingredients. YUM!

The best culinary adventure, however, was the market in Santiago. It's called La Vega Central and it was one of the biggest markets I've ever been to. My fiance drags me to markets all over the world and this one was really unique!

The market was probably a half-mile square and the offerings ranged from bushels of nectarines to bowls of peppers to butchers to dried fruit and spices.

It was a sensory overload, but one of the most unique experiences I've had. Check it out. Yes, those really are ducks in a pen.

This trip was truly a great reminder to stay open to all types of food and experiences. What are some of your favorite food-related travel experiences?

[author] [author_image timthumb='on']#[/author_image] [author_info]Amy is a friend of House Party. She was the VP of Consumer Marketing until early 2012. Originally from Connecticut, she currently resides in New York City. Bitten by the travel bug, Amy is never far from her passport and dreams of temporarily living in Guatemala to learn Spanish. She's a very active and health-conscious person and spends her weekends entertaining family and friends. She loves to cook and is always looking for new recipes, so don't be shy. Amy's party tip: know how to make a clean exit.[/author_info] [/author]

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