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You may think, being a person of a certain age, and by that I mean nothing more than that you find my blog mildly entertaining, which puts you in your twenties and up, for the most part, that you know kitchens.

You’ve been in kitchens, you’ve seen what they contain, you know how to use some (if not all) of the implements contained therein.

Believe me, I thought the same. But when I came to Chile, I discovered four major departures. 1. The sponge is made of foam 2. there is no vegetable peeler, 3. the can opener looks like a medieval weapon (see the one from 1855, still in use in Chile)and 4. stovetop toasters (like the one here, sold vintage on this toaster site, the “square, nonelectric” one!

The sponges I bring from home when I can (though I just discovered they are available in the shangri-la of supermarkets. The vegetable peeler is remedied by bowing out of all peeling tasks that are not in my kitchen, lest the resulting potatoes show up the size of malshaped (misshapen?) dice. The can opener I just walk away from, or have someone else use, for the most part, though I have on occasion used the stab-n-rock (as I like to call it). In my kitchen I have that wacky thing with the whatsis you turn. And though I seriously injured myself in Feb. of last year with the mandoline, so far my can opener has taken no prisoners.

So I thought I understood Chilean kitchens pretty well, and you probably think you could identify most of the implements found in one, and also in most restaurants you’d care to enter.

Enter, the putty knife. This, it turns out can be used to move around meat (or mash up cheese as though it were play-doh) on the grill, scrape the same, or pile unthinkable amounts of avocado, mayonnaise or other delicious toppings to your gargantuan sandwich.

Behold, the mega sandwiches.


A closeup of (not my) sandwich, note the meat. Churrasco Italiano, beef, mayonnaise, avocado, tomatoes)

And presumably, Francisco.


And we weren’t the only ones. Here in Viña, at Sandiwchería Sibaritico, 5 Norte 147. Sal de Frutas (local alka-seltzer) sold separately.


No one seemed to mind the putty knife, but it always does seem worth mentioning.