The island of Chiloe is a special place in Chile. A land full of legends, culinary culture and tradition. On one side the Pacific Ocean, unchained, and on the other, the continent and its snowy volcanoes. In short, a must-see on the road to Chile.
Mainly focused on tourism, agriculture and fishing, the island offers all kinds of local dishes such as curanto, one of the typical dishes of Chile. A mixture of seafood and pieces of meat cooked in coal in a hole covered with soil. But in summer, the specialty lamb on a spit.
Lelbun is a small beach place in the South East of the island, dolphins and sea bass call home. Like on all summer weekends, today is barbecue day! Robert, a.k.a. El Gringo, comes home early from work and in the back of his pick-up stands our barbecue: a few logs and a lamb… alive, held by a rope.
“So Antoine, all good? You ready? We’re gonna get this lamb ready for the barbecue!”
Sure the night before, after a few glasses of wine, I was more than confident about taking part in the beast’s “preparation” but seeing it alive, right there in front of me, was a whole other story. Us urban folks are not really used to killing to eat, and making a barbecue means heading to the market for some meat…
Luckily, this is not El Gringo’s first lamb and in less than 20 seconds, the young sheep’s jugular if slashed and that’s that.
On my own, I would’ve never been able to do this. It takes years of practice to know how to prepare a lamb. That’s when I realize, in life, to each his trade. I’m good with languages and El Gringo, well, he cuts lamb like no other.
Once we’ve put the skin out to dry, the ribs and shanks separated, we start a fire and the animal/lamb can roast for 2 hours. The result was delicious.
Yes I was very proud of myself for taking part in the preparation of this barbecue, and yes it’s comforting to know how your food was raised and treated, but at 33 years old, I’m not about to become a butcher…
Place : Lelbun, Chiloe, Chili
Date : 2017
Author: Antoine Gicqueau
Author presentation: Antoine is a French engineer who loves to travel. He’s currently discovering Chili from North to South with his Chilean wife.
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