August 25, 2014 (Week 12)

Nothing super spiritual this week, unfortunately. It´s mostly because I´m still a missionary-in-training, and our numbers are obviously low because of it. Also, Elder See told me that our mission is actually about as high as missions in Europe. That made me feel a lot better, because I don´t know what is normal, but it felt like our numbers were lower than they should be. I guess the answer is yes and no. The guy with the baptism date we haven´t been able to visit for a few weeks now, which is really not very good, because he needs to go to church and figure out his chastity problems.

I can tell you about food, and today I think I´ll be able to get you pictures. I thought I´d tell you about the food because, as a dietitian, you´d probably be intrigued, amused and horrified by what I am stuffing into my body.

First, let me set the ground rules for Chilean food, at least in the poor parts of Santiago. Chileans do not like flavor. They don´t like spicy food, they don´t like salty food. As a general rule, their food is a little bland. They never use pepper. It´s in the grocery stores, but nobody eats it. Salt, yes. But not too much. And, finally, they love mayonnaise. Like, they put it on everything. And in high quantities.

For example, one of the things Chileans are known for is called Completos. When we got to the CCM, we were told all about them and got really excited because we heard they were really good. When we actually tried them, however, we found out they were basically just a glorified hotdog. Basically, it´s the cheapest hotdog with the cheapest bun on so much guacamole, mayo and ketchup that it´s hard to eat. I´m going to try to get a picture to you today.

What better is Ass (yes, we ate Ass, and yes, it is pronounced that way). It is exactly the same thing, but instead of a hot dog is pulled beef with spices. It´s actually pretty good, although again, there is all that sauce as an obstacle to the actual consumption of it. I am a little ashamed to say that my comp and I save a little money each week so that once a week we can buy one of these and fulfill our more base parts of our mortal appetite. (One quick thought about this poorly named food: if a place where you bake is called a Bakery, what is a place where you make Ass?)

Chileans go so far as to put mayonnaise on Salads. A typical Chilean salad is lemon juice, salt, and mayonnaise in a bag on the side to be put on to the persons personal taste. Gross.

I remember when I was little, you were telling me that because I hated tomatoes, I was going to go on a mission to a place where there are tomatoes a lot, and I was all like ¨Yeahwhatever.¨ Well, Mom, guess what? Another type of very common salad is literally nothing but onions and tomatoes. It´s been a… growing experience for me. And I really wish that they would stop. It´s not very thoughtful of them to put evil in my path like that.

Chileans are also known for their bread, and rightly so. The bread here is the greatest risk to my weight I´ve encountered on my mission. It´s really good. Nobody here eats sliced loaves of bread. It´s in the grocery stores, but that´s because we shop in an extension of Walmart called Liders. Everybody eats very traditional, fresh baked bread.

Chileans have big lunches and little dinners. There isn´t too much variety in what we are given. Often, we get this soup thing. It has a chunk of meat, a slice of squash and a baked potato sitting in a broth with rice and corn. It´s really good, but Chileans don´t treat their food the same way we do here, so when eaten, caution must be taken for bones. It´s like our experience in Malaysia.

Finally is Chileans love of tea and coffee. And cigarettes. And marijuana. But that is a different story. They drink tea and coffee all the time. And Mormons don´t have to be left out! I´ve drunk more herbal tea here that I ever have in my life. And they have this cereal based coffee like drink that we can drink as well. It´s very different.

Elder Mathewson


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