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Title: Curanto  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Earth oven, Austromegabalanus psittacus, Marraqueta, Seafood dishes, Cuisine of Chile
Collection: Chilean Cuisine, Chiloé Archipelago, Earth Oven, Seafood Dishes
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Uncovering the Curanto in Calen, commune of Dalcahue, Chiloe, Chile
Place of origin Chile
Region or state Chiloé
Serving temperature Hot
Main ingredients Potatoes, shellfish, meat
Variations Multiple
Cookbook: Curanto 

Curanto is a traditional food of Chiloé Archipelago that has spread to the southern areas of Chile and whose remains dated back about 11.525 ± 90 years no cal BP.[1] It is traditionally prepared in a hole, about a meter and a half (approx. one and a half yards) deep, which is dug in the ground. The bottom is covered with stones, heated in a bonfire until red.[2]


  • Preparation 1
  • History 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The ingredients consist of shellfish, meat, potatoes, milcao (a kind of potato pancake), chapaleles (a kind of potato dumpling), and vegetables. Curanto sometimes also includes specific types of fish. The varieties of shellfish vary but almejas (clams), cholgas (ribbed mussels) and picorocos (giant barnacles) are essential. The quantities are not fixed; the idea is that there should be a little of everything. Each layer of ingredients is covered with nalca (Chilean rhubarb) leaves, or in their absence, with fig leaves or white cabbage leaves. All this is covered with wet sacks, and then with dirt and grass chunks, creating the effect of a giant pressure cooker in which the food cooks for approximately one hour.[2]

Curanto can also be prepared in a large stew pot that is heated over a bonfire or grill or in a pressure cooker. This stewed curanto is called pulmay in the central region of Chile.


It is believed that this form of preparing foods was native to the "chono" countryside and that, with the arrival of the southern peoples and the Spanish conquistadors, new ingredients were added until it came to be the curanto that is known today.

See also


  1. ^ Rivas, Pilar; Ocampo, Carlos (2002). "El antiguo curanto chilote". Fondecyt 1020616 “Proceso y orígenes del poblamiento marítimo de los canales patagónicos: Chiloé y el núcleo septentrional" (in Spanish). 
  2. ^ a b "The curanto". ThinkQuest. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 

External links

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