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Facts & Figures
It may come as a surprise to many that Chile are ranked so highly in the world. Everyone thinks of Brazil and Argentina as the big, successful forces in South American football. People remember that Uruguay have won the World Cup, that Mexico have starred in the tournament many times in the past, and that the USA are finally climbing up the world rankings. But Chile have a history of success - they have won the Copa America twice and come second four times, and they were third in the 1962 World Cup!
Ideas for a Chilean Themed Football Party
Despite the success of near neighbours Brazil, Argentina and even Uruguay, Chilean football fans are a proud bunch, and fiercely competitive, especially when it comes to arch-rivals Argentina. Comparisons with all things Argentinian seem to be a part of everyday life in Chile, and any meeting between an Argentinian and a Chilean inevitably descends into an argument about who has the better football team, which country has the more attractive women, and which produces the better red wine!
Where football is concerned, although there is little doubt that Argentina have had more success in terms of trophies, Chile has a very long and proud history, which may surprise some readers,
as not many Chilean players are well-known outside their own country; the majority play in the Chilean league, or in nearby Argentina or Brazil. The Chilean Football Federation is the second oldest
in South America, and Chile were one of only four nations to compete in the first international tournament there, which eventually evolved into the Copa America. Chile was one of the thirteen
countries who competed for the first World Cup in 1930, when only a defeat by Argentina (who else?!) stopped them progressing beyond the group stage.
The major parties and celebrations in Chile mark either religious events or the anniversary of the country's independence from Spain - this latter event is marked in mid-September. The celebrations often take place outside in temporary "buildings", and involve much eating, drinking and dancing.
Chile Party Decorations
Food for a Chilean Themed PartyLike many Latin American countries, Chile's cuisine has been influenced not only by the early Spanish settlers, but also by the many immigrants from other European countries over the years. Combine this fact with an incredibly diverse terrain (deserts, rain forests, mountains, beaches, glaciers...) and a huge coastline, and you begin to understand why it is hard to define one style of cooking as "the Chilean cuisine".
Seafood is extremely popular; what beef is in Argentina, seafood is in Chile! As well as a host of different freshwater and sea fish, plus the usual crab, lobster, clams, mussels etc, Chileans seems quite happy to eat almost anything else that comes from the sea too! There are a whole host of intirguing and unique seafood ingredients that are popular in the restaurants of Santiago that simply aren't available for the rest of us to enjoy, but if you ever visit the country, be brave and try at least one item on the menu that you haven't tried before!
In terms of the style of cooking, although some of the spices of other Latin American countries are used, Chilean cooking isn't really spicy. Fish is typically grilled or fried in a little butter or olive oil, or served in a cream-based sauce. Barbecued meat - although not as popular as in Argentina - is eaten, and Chilean anticuchos are the best example.
For a themed Chilean football party, start the event off with some Pisco Sours to get the party going!
Finger Foods & Starters
Drink for a Chilean Themed PartyChile prides itself on the quality of its red wines, which thankfully are now widely available throughout the world.
Many Chileans regard "pisco sour" and "chicha" as their national drinks. Peruvians claim pisco sour as their own, but it doesn't really matter. Just make sure you don't drink too many, as they're lethal! These locally-made spirits are not widely available in all parts of the world, and some would say that's a good thing! I've heard chicha described as "a direct assault on your body's systems - only for the bravest!". Pisco sour is a liitle more palatable (they serve it on the Chilean national airline!), but you really need a supply of the pisco spirit in order to be able to make it. Fortunately, DrinkSupermarket.com have a good selection. If you can't get hold of it, the nearest substitute would be a white (clear) brandy of reasonable quality. If you fancy a go, try our Chilean Pisco Sour Recipe.
There is a fantastic selection of Chilean wines available online at DrinkSupermarket.com.