Corrugated City

Thursday 12 February 2009

Fruit and Veg: The Best Thing About Chile

I think my favourite thing about Chile is the quality and quantity of  fresh fruit and veg. The absurdly low prices also help. Ok, so it's not organic but it's all locally produced, seasonal stuff (with the exception of bananas and other tropical fruits).

Unlike Argentina, Chile doesn't export all its best produce, leaving only the dregs behind for local consumption (thanks King and Kween Kirchner for the price controls!). When I lived there, it was common to see piles of semi-rotten produce piled up in the supermarkets (outside of Recoleta of course). The local greengrocers weren't all that much better either. 

The produce this side of the Andes is not only much higher quality but usually much cheaper as well.

At the moment, we're in cherry season. Prices at the markets here in Valpo are 600 pesos per kilo (that's us$0.40 to$1). When I was back in England at Christmas, Chilean cherries were £8-16/kilo (8000-16,000 pesos or us$12-20) and just 250 pesos/kilo in Chile. That's the price for eating fruit out of season, I guess...Although according to info on that forum I linked to, cherries in Argentina are 27 Arg pesos a kilo or 5000 Chilean pesos-us$8/kilo...oh dear.

Here, right now, strawberries are around 500 pesos a kilo. A huge 4-5 kilo red cabbage-400 pesos. Peaches-300 pesos/kilo. Tomatoes-400-800 pesos/kilo. Oranges-80 pesos a kilo when buying a big bag! Seedless black grapes-400 pesos/kilo. Apples-300 pesos/kilo. All of export quality, all better than anything I ever ate in Argentina (especially the tomatoes) and all cheaper than anything I ever ate in Argentina.

And if you like're in for a treat. They go for around 1000 pesos per kilo. Sadly, I can't stand the things.

This is probably the single thing that I most enjoy about living in Chile. It's a quality of life issue and it's something I  truly miss whenever I'm away from this country.


Emily said...

I am genuinely glad to know that someone else out there doesn't like avocado. I thought I was the only one. Chileans can't get their heads around it.

I'm not quite as impressed by Chilean produce, since the stuff we have in California is far better and cheaper than what you find in the UK, but I will agree it's good quality, and I like that it's seasonal.

Matt said...

Yeah, avocados suck. And as for the fruit and veg in England...i find it pretty decent on the whole, especially from Tesco and Waitrose. But it's just so damn expensive it's pretty much a luxury which is not what fruit and veg should be.