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Friday, March 8, 2013

Chile: Valparaiso

Should I go ahead and finish posting about Chile now?  About time, right?

Our final full day in Chile was spent at the other activity that my father-in-law booked for us, and after the successful wine tasting trip, we were on board for another activity!

We had instructions to meet our guide at the top of one of the funiculars, one of the many vertical people movers in the city.  It was a great view from the top, overlooking a shipyard and the rest of the city, and we arrived early enough to enjoy the scenery.

It was a bright, sunny morning, and it was nice to walk along the pier with Gran.

 When our guide, Boris, showed up, he was smiles and fun from the start.  We booked through Chilean Cuisine, a class found through its high TripAdvisor ratings.  The cooking class had a few parts; we started at the house where we would eventually cook the meal, we rode together to a large fruit and vegetable market then rode to the fresh seafood market, then we took our goods back to the house, cooked and at our multi-course meal.  It was a perfect way to see how to cook an authentic Chilean meal from start to finish.

The first stop was the fruit market, which was in a sketchy area of town, so I didn't bring out my camera to capture the moment.  It was a sight to be seen, though, fruits and vegetables larger than I thought possible (again, everything grows wonderfully here).  They also had an unusual amount of cats in the market, which meant that we washed the produce really well before eating it.

The second stop was to the seafood market, which is where the fishermen come in from their daily catch and sell their finds to the public.  People can purchase the fish and take it to one of the many folks willing to filet it for a tip.  This man was the fastest fish filet-er I have ever witnessed.

 With all of these folks filleting and cleaning fish, there were also plenty of animals waiting to inherit the scraps.

The fish market was a surprise highlight for me, it was great to see the incredible variety of seafood, though the real bonus was seeing all of these great sea lions.

I don't even know what some of these items are, but they make a nice photo.

 The cooking class itself was a huge success, everything we made was delicious.  The downside of the class was that it was absolutely overcrowded.  We were all bumping into each other as we were cooking, and we were sitting shoulder to shoulder as we ate the meal.  In fairness, Boris, our guide, was great at directing and redirecting each moving piece in the class.

The food was delicious, and we have all been promised the recipes - though they have not yet been send out.  It was nice to see the food from purchase to plate, and each dish that we prepared was unique to anything I have cooked before.

It was a nice way to end a really great trip to Chile.  We would return to this area in a heartbeat - it was a great place to visit!

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