My memory of Chile, Pataska

Posted on Apr 10, 2014 in Hiroko's Blog

Sun is getting stronger, but yet the cold air still makes me feel like I am in winter time zone here in New York  City. Here is the already posted blog, Pataska, from our delightful trip to Atacama, Chile, the highest dry dessert in the world in January, 2014. Tierra hotels, where we stayed both in their Atacama and Patagonia location, has just published on their website a small article of our visits. Please click to see the article:  If you plan to visit Chile, I highly recommends Tierra Hotels.

This article made me to make pataskaPatasca for the first time in my kitchen. I found Hominy corn at neighbor food store. I have pork from Otomanelli and potato from farmers market. I have no recipe for this dish. Hope my taste memory will guide me to the satisfying result.

“I have to taste local flavors wherever I travel. So, I always ask the same question to the locals and guides whom I meet. “Give me the name of local dishes which I should try”. When I was in Atacama ‘Patasca’ was the only, must try local dish, and everyone was recommending the restaurant called Las Delicias de Carmen. Pataska is a stewed dish, in which chewy large corn (known as Hominy corn in America), potato, pork and red pepper are cooked together. Because of its simple description I expected that it is a heavy country dish. Against my expectation Pataska at Las Delicias de Carmen was light, refined and delicious. As I ate the dish I tried to figure out how it was cooked. The delicious, juicy pork had a look and texture, which was not cooked in the broth with potato and corn for hours. Red pepper in the stew added not only the pleasant spiciness but juzzed up the color of the stew. We also tried empanada. The baked crust, which encased caramelized onion and beef inside, was super crusty, and again it was light to the stomach than it appeared. So, Las Delicias de Carmen is highly recommended.

Here are two warnings on your visit to Las Delicias de Carmen. Please make sure in advance that Pataska is on the menu on the night of your visit. Pataska is prepared only twice a week at the restaurant. The meat dishes on the menu all come in huge sizes. I recommend you share it with your dining partner(s). Enjoy Chilean beer, Austral.”