The Flavor of Santiago – Mote Con Huesillos

If you climb to the top of San Cristóbal Hill in Santiago, Chile (one of many San Cristóbal’s on the continent of South America), you will surely observe every vendor selling Mote con Huesillos. It is an unfamiliar and curiously complex drink which translates to dried peaches with…wheat. Yes, wheat. It’s probably the only time outside of a Ft. Lauderdale Spring Break that a drink has produced this reaction:

Chandra Tries Mote Con Huesillos

To call it slightly sweet is like calling a Long Island Iced tea slightly alcoholic.

Chileans LOVE Mote con Huesillos. There is even an expression that translates to “more Chilean than Mote con Huesillos” (“más chileno que el mote con huesillos”). Its akin to our “as American as apple pie” I suppose.

Mote con Huesillos is made by boiling dried peaches in an extremely sugary liquid (as if peaches really needed sugar to be palatable). The peach rehydrates itself and is left intact in the drink. Frankly, I’m not sure if I was supposed to eat it or treat it like a garnish.

Mote Con Huesillos Santiago Chile

What are those grains, you ask? Wheat! I’m not sure why a drink contains a grain (is this a meal replacement?), but it does. This was actually the most enjoyable part of the drink because it didn’t cause me to instantly develop diabetes.

Mote Con Huesillos Santiago Chile

Here is a shot of the drink in all its glory:

Mote Con Huesillos Santiago Chile

Dave and I sat for a while, each with a Mote con Huesillos in hand, just trying to drink these concoctions. We had made the rookie mistake of each ordering one when, clearly, a shot glass sized portion would have sufficed. We tried. But in the end, we failed. The trash cans atop the hill were crammed with empty plastic cups and Chileans sat around, savoring their spring and summertime drink. We casually meandered over to the trash cans and dropped in our barely touched cups. I felt bad, I really did, but it was really gross.

So beware the Mote con Huesillos. Have you ever tried a beloved local treat only to find it is not quite the treat you had imagined it would be? Leave a comment to warn us all!

Mote Con Huesillos Santiago Chile

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