Chileans aren’t too big on eating food on the street. A friend of mine and I once told the story of how we were sitting on a ledge eating our lunch, and her husband couldn’t even really hear the rest of the story, as he was so busy saying, “you were doing WHAT?”
But there are some exceptions. People drink yogurt in the street. Yes, drink. They tear open a corner and drink it out of the container. I know, strange, I prefer a spoon as well. You will also see people eating sopaipillas (fried disks of dough), ice cream, and maybe fruit. And then there are the nuts.
Nuts are these candied peanuts, sold hot on the street by people who are stirring a hot pot of molten sugar and nuts, even as they take your 300 pesos and hand you a bag. The original candied nuts in Chile are actually a re-import of those Nuts4Nuts guys you see in NY. The guy who started the company was Chilean, and he re-imported his brand back to Chile. And so we have Nuts4Nuts carts all over the place.
Which people like to say Noots for Noots (or as I like to think of it, Newts for Newts), or even Newts cuatro Newts.
I am not sure what percentage of the population knows that nuts for nuts means, “crazy for nuts,” but I’m guessing that the imitator, like nuts8nuts (really, I did see this), doesn’t get that other meaning of the number 4. Plus Newts ocho Newts is hard to say.
I should also say that many people know it’s not Newts, but rather nuts. Unfortunately, Spanish does not have that u sound, leading to great confusion between the words cup and cap. So instead we get what sounds like Knots for knots.
Newts, knots, and numbers. Where am I going with this post. Take it out! Take it out!
What do I mean, take it out? I must be honest with you. I have no earthly (get it, peanuts are also called groundnuts) idea:
But this, in addition to the newts and knots, is another brand of maní confitado (candied peanuts). Which, by the way, are never quite as good as you would hope, and I think they’d benefit from a little salt in the recipe, and I don’t taste a hint of honey, it just tastes like caramelized sugar.
I bought this bag of take it out newts/knots one day on the street, and gladly accepted the warmish, oversweet nuts for a little snack. It wasn’t until I had unrolled the sides to open the bag that I could see that there were two messages waiting for me, like the “say no to drugs” on the inside of the red hots box.
But here is where I learned that both God and his earthly son, are both big fans of peanuts.
See for yourself:
And in case take it out newts/knots has achuntared (from achuntar, to guesstimate, or hit the nail on the head, conjugated as though it were an English word, a use of Spanglish that is tremendously time-saving at times, and tremendously annoying to most) incorrectly, and you’re not a Jesus-follower. Well, then there’s this:
I don’t really know where to go here. First of all, I don’t understand what I’m supposed to take out. Secondly, Jesus may, in fact love me, in fact, he probably does. However, I am certain this has nothing to do with peanuts. And In God We Trust? Well, um, that’s the official motto of the United States. Which has what, exactly to do with peanuts?
I’ve been thinking about it. And I’ve decided that one day, when I get my entrepreneurial mojo, I am going to go to the United States and sell peanuts called Mani Pedi from a pedicab, and put on the side of the bag “By reason or by force.” (that’s Chile’s national motto) Cierto? (Right?)
(Mani Pedi is a joke. Maní, with an accent, is peanut. Without it, it’s Mani, from manicure (in English). Pedi in this case would mean pedicab, but it goes so well with Mani (which is how people in the US would pronounce it), as pedi for pedicure).
Tell me the truth. Does low blood sugar make me make no sense? Well then, Take it out!!! Thank God for peanuts.
Sitting in Starbucks cracking up, with people staring at me, over the peanut post. Am I just nutty or is it really funny?
Glad I could make you giggle, though you may, in fact be nutty. So may we all be. Come back, soon!
Was all set to argue with you about Chileans eating in the street until I read the part about your friend’s husband, and yeah, I see that… so I guess the idea would be that they tend not to EAT in the street, but they do SNACK. Peanuts, ice cream (lots of ice cream), sopaipillas, and the occasional completo.
Also, completely agree with you about maní confitado never begin quite as good as my mouth is all worked up for it to be. Thought that was just me. Glad to know it’s not.
yeah, it’s like how Chileans will say they want “comida” as opposed to a sandwich. There are many nuances. They’re not eating, they’re snacking. It’s not a meal, it’s a sandwich. Crazy Chileans. What will they think of next? Drinkable yogurt? (oh wait, got that one already).
Ever tried garrapiñada in Argentina or Uruguay?
This whole post reminds me of a gag line from Les Luthiers. He says, “O como dicen en inglés, “Time is money”….el tiempo es un mani”.
El tiempo es un maní, between no more! Garrapiñada seems to have a thicker (And mysteriously redder) coating than our maní confitada. And in Corrientes in Argentina (nearish to Brazil) they had pao de quiejo, and that is a far and away winner every time over sweet nuts, I’m afraid. Clever lema be darned.
Mani pedi makes me think of that episode of I Love Lucy where she stomps grapes into wine…
We do that here, too. Vendimias always have a grape-stomping competition, though I’ve never seen one. Vendimia=grape harvest festival. In Chile in April, though starts earlier in Mendoza (across the cordillera in Argentina). mmm, stompy.
Brillant!! really liked this one. And you really know your nuts I have to say.
Hilarious! I just saw a Nuts4Nuts vendor for the first time. A part of me thought I might get a healthy snack and then I realized I was in Latin America, and they must be coated in sugar.