Some many times I had been in a "Curanto", because I have relations on
"Carelmapu" (green land in mapuche language), a little small bay next to
"Pargua". Pargua is the place where ferry-boat carry on cars to Chiloe Island.
Then I give you a Curanto's recipe from Carelmapu. I think this recipe isn't far to the
Chiloe Curanto recipe.
Curanto means on mapuche language "stones place" (from Cura=stone and
nto=that gives the idea of "many", "lot" or "plural").
If You wanna make the best Curanto you need :
- A place where you can make a hole in the earth.
- from 1 to 1/2 cubic meter of big stones.
- enought fire-wood.
- big bags (you could use bags of Nylon too).
- many "pangue". In south of Chile we called "pangue" the Nalca leaf. "Nalca" is a
vegetable wich looks like a big celery. When nalca is adult its stem is thick (up to 10 cm
of diameter). Its color is green/brown, and it has somethin like thorns, they prick but
don't hurt. Nalca often grows over hills declivities where sun light almost cames. Its
stem have sour taste. Many people eat the stem with salt. But other like me, prefer the
pure taste (so delicious). Oldest Nalcas have biggest leafs, but their taste is bad. If
you dont't have nalca leafs, you can use cabbage leafs to cober the Curanto.
- Sea food : tacas (clams), picorocos, piures, cholgas, choritos, choros, culenes, machas,
etc. I don't know how explain the look of every of these kind of sea food, and I don't
know waht the scientific name of everyone, bu t when I know, i will put the information
here. I you can look sea food from Chile in books or into the WWW. Is not necesary all
these kind of sea food on Curanto, often it has only almejas, cholgas and picorocos. And
in these moments when Chilean Sea is so worked is no easy find all kind of sea food.
- Longaniza (kind of long sausage).
- crude potatoes ( with skin).
- Milcao. It is a mass made with crude grinded potatoes mixed with boiled potatoes. This
mix can be fried or keeped up a barkery. Before the mix is divided in circular pieces an
put on Curanto, in this way it is cocked by vapour of Curanto.
- Chapaleles. Mix made with flour, water and salt. Is like bread mass, but hasn't ferment.
Chapaleles can be boiled too.
- smoked pig flesh.
- Make a circular hole on earth with 1.5 meter of diameter and 0.3 meter of deep.
- Make fire in the hole.
- When the fire-wood are turned on live coal, put the stones over the fire in homegeneous
- When stones are so hot, and the fire begins to go out you must to put sea food over the
- Over they put pangue, and over these put milcao, chapaleles, longaniza, pig and chicken.
- Then You must to cover all with the rest of pangue, bags and nylon. You have to put
earth and champas (pieces of grass) over this food mountain. The idea is that all will be
cocked by vapour, and any bit of heat can't scape frome inside of Curanto.
- When all is cocked, you can take away earth, champas, bags, nylosn and pangue, and with
care (you could burn your fingers) you take the food, and put them on plates.
- Peure cuchareao (taked with spoon, in spanish cuchara=spoon) : cereless juice made with
onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro, cigoulette and chili, ebullient water, oil, lemon juice
and salt. Some people put it tomate too. You can drink "peure" with a spoon or
with a bowl.
- sea food broth drink with a bowl.
- pale wine.
- These are modern times, for this reason never is absent in curanto a soda like
"Coke". Some people say if you drink soda and eat sea food, soon you will be
sick, but isn't true, the worst thing that could happens are that you could have gas on
- salads (lettuce, tomatoe, etc).
When Curanto is ready, everyone take a plate and take all that he wants (sea food,
chapaleles, longaniza, flesh, etc.). Drink wine, soda, peure, broth, etc. Often people
listen music. Is better when the music is from Chiloe. But in these days you can hear any
kind of music on curantos. In the last times you could hear in curanto Rock or Techno.
You could make a little Curanto inside a big pot, with the same ingredients descrived
above, but you don't need bags or pangue, and you can use pieces of nylon or cloth in
their place. In this case the curanto is called "Curanto en olla" or
"Pulmay" (my mother make delicious curantos on pot).
The last thing I have to tell you is if you never know "Curanto" you are lost
your half life.......