My favorite chile is from New Mexico and comes in two forms: green (which can be roasted, peeled, and chopped with garlic to form the food of the gods which can be eaten on homemade flour tortillas) and red (which is green chile in a more mature form which can be strung together in a bunch called a ristra and dried and then later ground into a powder and used to make red chile sauce). Green chile can be used as a relish on many things and red chile sauce can be poured over many things.

Long thin country which takes up the southern portion of South America's Pacific Ocean coast, Chile borders Peru, Bolivia and Argentina and controls most of the Strait of Magellan. (It also owns Easter Island.) Had a military government under Augusto Pinochet for some time before civilians took over in 1990.

The Atacarma desert in northern Chile is the driest place on Earth.

Chile is a wonderful amazing country but the local diet makes it quite a challenging place for a backpacking vegan as potatos or "papas" seem to be the only vegetable eaten, usually accompanied with a big slab of meat.

Despite the name of the country the food is very plain rather than spicy and it is really hard to find real coffee. A Chilean told me that they consider themselves to be the English of South America and indeed tea is the national drink.

Chile is said to be where the potato originated, Chiloe Island to be more precise.

There is some interest in researching less well known indigenous varieties of potato from southern America as they may have natural resistance to Phytopathora infestans which causes potato blight, the disease that was responsible for the Irish potato famine.

On September 11, 1973 there was a coup d'etat in Chile which deposed the democratically elected leftwing President Salvadore Allende to be replaced by the brutal Military dictator Augusto Pinochet.

In October 1988 Chile returned to democracy.

Viva Chile!

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