Marraqueta is the staple bread in Chile, a roll-type bread usually sold in little loafs of about 15 by 8 centimeters. It is usually sold freshly cooked, with most supermarkets and convenience stores setting out fresh marraqueta once an hour. The bread usually sells for around two USD a kilogram, which makes it one of the cheapest foods in Chile.
The bread itself it made from flour, water, yeast and salt, making it a very basic bread, with no added oil, fat or sugar. Like much of Chilean cuisine, it could be considered boring. But it is easy to make something else out of it, by the simple process of adding some butter to the top, or perhaps some of Chile's plentiful avocado.
In form, the Marraqueta looks like mini loaf of French Bread, (which is basically what it is). It is divided into quadrants, with "one marraqueta" referring either to a half loaf, or a whole loaf, depending on who you ask. It isn't easy to slice in two for a sandwich, but its top groove is a natural place to melt some margarine and add some toppings.
Like much about my life in Chile, the Marraqueta has become indispensable despite its seemingly humble nature. Many a long day has been eased by the the cheap expedient of buying some fresh marraquetas at a convenience store to eat as an on-the-go lunch, and after waking up in the morning, I see if I have any left over on my kitchen counter to start the day with.