We took a walking tour in Santiago, which turned out to be a great. Our guide covered all sorts of information about Chile – customs and history and culture and food.
Franco told us that once upon a time a decent cup of coffee was not to be had in Chile – it was the land of Nescafe. And to a certain extant it still is. But one enterprising fellow decided to do something about that. He decided to provide good coffee, and as an incentive pretty girls. In particular, girls with long long legs. Et voila, coffee with legs. These cafes only exist in the financial district, are only open during business hours and have no chairs. You sidle up to the bar where a young lady in a short skirt serves up a coffee and lingers for a chat. We passed several of these institutions along the main pedestrian street.
We didn’t actually visit a coffee with legs bar, but we did try one popular local drink – Mote con Huesillo, which is peaches with wheat. I know, sounds weird! Dehydrated peaches are re-hydrated in a sugar syrup that has cinnamon in it. Peach juice is added. First into the glass is a big scoop of cooked wheat berries – they have the texture of cooked rice. Next up, some peach halves, then the liquid. Very sweet, very refreshing, very good. A summer treat sold from pushcarts all over the city.
We’ve eaten very well here in Chile, and that includes some of the best ice-cream I’ve ever eaten (sorry, Italy). In fact before we set sail tomorrow I’ve got my heart set on one more go round with a combo of orange/ginger and raspberry/mint. You can’t believe how good they are!