Curanto . It is a food that is cooked underground. The ingredients are prepared to be cooked and then buried, because it is cooked under the ground. It is a meal that takes a long time to prepare and is designed for many people to eat, since the effort to do a curanto for two or for many more people is almost the same. Curanto is a typical food from Chile , coming from Chiloé, and that currently has spread throughout southern Chile and Argentine Patagonia.. Traditionally in the Gastronomy of Chiloé it is prepared outdoors, bearing the name of “curanto en hoyo”, that is to say, the one that is made in a well dug in the ground, approximately one and a half meters deep. The bottom is covered with stones that are heated over a campfire. When they are red hot, the tails are removed and the ingredients begin to be placed.


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  • 1 Origin
  • 2 Cooking
  • 3 Foods that integrate curanto
  • 4 Recipe
    • 1 Ingredients
    • 2 Preparation method
  • 5 Sources


Its origin must be rooted in the need to cook food in a difficult climate such as the Patagonian, in places where sometimes firewood is not abundant and it usually rains, snows and blows a lot of wind. The original inhabitants (Mapuches) of the region devised a system whereby heat is underground, and food as well.


The way of cooking is to make a shallow well, put stones in the bottom, embers and more stones, on these you put Nalca leaves, Maqui or another plant and just then the food -which is currently wrapped in aluminum foil so that it conserves its juices and cooks better-, on the food are put more leaves of Nalca, Maqui or another plant of the region, bags of burlap or another insulator, more stones and earth. This produces a natural “oven”, where the heat is preserved and enhanced.

Foods that integrate curanto

Foods make up a curanto, in general they are vegetables and meat . It will depend on each region which vegetables and which meats. In Chilean villages, a seafood and fish cure is usually made , for example, since these foods are abundant in Chile . Vegetables usually include pumpkins stuffed with peas and cream or cheese , potatoes, sweet potatoes, apples , carrots, aubergines, etc. The use of leaves and other materials to isolate and protect food also varies, according to the time of year and, above all, the abundance of one or another plant species or complementary material. Food cooked incuranto have a unique and different flavor. It is also an excellent experience to see how a curanto is prepared and cooked, to be able to observe the columns of smoke and steam that come out of the ground while the food is cooking inside the land, and after waiting, witness when it is “uncovered”. ”The curanto. Dirt, leaves, and stones run, and steaming, steamy foods appear, ready to be brought to the plate.


Curanto cooking .


  • 4 Kgof Maltese Choros
  • 4 Kgof Choritos
  • 4 Kgof Cholgas
  • 5 Kgof Picorocos
  • 5 Kgof Clams
  • 2-1 / 2 Kgof Longanizas
  • 2-1 / 2 Kg Porkribs (smoked)
  • 18 short chickentricks
  • 8 kgHawthorn charcoal
  • 18 pieces of sea bass or sea bass
  • 4 kgof large potatoes
  • 3 large cabbages
  • 18 Milcaos
  • 36 Chapaleles
  • 3 kgof peas or beans
  • 5 washed burlap sacks
  • 5 Flour washed bags
  • 8 Kgof thin firewood

Preparation method

  • To prepare this Traditional Chilote Curanto Recipe in Hoyo it is necessary to dig a hole in the ground, about a meter and a half deep.
  • Cover the bottom with large stones and distribute the charcoalwell on the stones and the wood mixed with some papers.
  • Light the fire and let the stones heat red-hot, waiting for the charcoal and firewood to be completely consumed.
  • Once consumed flatten out, remove the remaining smutches and woods. Then carefully sweep the surface of the stones as they will be very hot.
  • Start the curanto assembly by first placing the picorocos as these are the ones that resist the highest temperature, and then the choros, choritos , cholgas and clams to then cover everything with the cabbage leaves or failing pangue leaves (nalca) or of vine .
  • When everything is well covered by the leaves, add the seasoned meats ( porkribs, chicken truffles , sausages) and the beans or peas on top of these , closing the entire outline with unpeeled and well washed potatoes.
  • Add a new layer of leaves and place the fish, chapaleles and milcao on top, then place a last layer of leaves, and seal at the end with the flour sacks and burlap sacks well wet, simulating a large pressure cooker .
  • This general assembly should not consume more than 5 minutes because the stones cool, affecting the quality of the curanto

Approximately 45 minutes or an hour later, remove the sacks and remove the first layer of leaves, since the ingredients will already be cooked, and you can start serving this chilote-style hole curanto.


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