Chilean food includes coffee, tea, ceviche, seafood, poultry, empanadas and kuchens, a type of dessert. Chileans typically eat four meals a day; breakfast, as in the United States, starts the day, but does so with just toast and tea, while lunch brings a more substantial meal. Chileans consume a large lunch, which often includes cazuela, a hearty soup made with rice, meat and starch, accompanied by casseroles and bread.
Chile's proximity to the ocean makes it a prime location for plenty of fresh seafood. In addition to shellfish and fish, Chileans, along with many South Americans, consume large quantities of meat and poultry. Chileans cook many meat and seafood dishes in large outdoor brick ovens called "parillas." Parillas function much like ovens and grills in the U.S., and produce many similar types of foods. Chileans use parillas to prepare sausage, chicken and fish. Fish dishes feature roasted, steamed or seared fish. Ceviche, a popular Chilean dish, features fish topped with lemon marinade.
Chilean cuisine derives influence from a variety of sources, including Italy. This influence is expressed in culinary dishes such as clams covered with melted cheese. German-inspired dishes include pastry desserts filled with fruit and jams, while Spanish-inspired cuisine includes sugar-covered pastries called "alfajor." Chileans enjoy fast foods such as empanadas, as well as traditional corn and meat-based dishes called "pastel del choclo."