Magazine article Americas Quarterly

The Chilean Completo

Magazine article Americas Quarterly

The Chilean Completo

Article excerpt

In the acclaimed Chilean web series "Gringolandia," comedian Koke Santa Ana plays a befuddled visitor to New York who tries a hot dog from one of the city's ubiquitous sidewalk vendors-only to recoil in disgust. A plain sausage enclosed in a tasteless bun seems underdressed by Chilean standards. The series then follows his homesick character's quest to introduce New Yorkers to what Chileans consider a "real" hot dog: the completo.

Distinguished by their copious toppings, completos can include mayonnaise, tomato, shoestring potatoes, sauerkraut and, arguably, the most essential ingredient: mashed avocado. "The completo is special because all Chileans can relate to it, especially since it's so cheap," Santa Ana told AQ. At a typical street vendor, completos will run you 1,000 pesos, or about $1.75.

According to most accounts, the completo was born around 1920, when Santiago restaurateur Eduardo Bahamondes Muñoz imported the idea of the hot dog from the United States. …

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