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  • Writer's pictureThe Linguistic Foodie

Juan & Maria's Empanada Stop (parada de empanadas de juan y maria): A community of empanada fanatics

Arguably one of the most sought out restaurants at the market is Juan & Maria’s Empanada Stop. I often see stickers of Juan and Maria’s faces on the backs of cars, so their empanadas must be no joke. Juan and Maria serve their famous empanada, with recipes that originate in their home country of Chile, from their base at the public market, and they have gained quite the following.

From the upbeat, friendly staff and the regular customers enjoying their weekly morning empanada, I could immediately tell that this place wasn’t just a stop to grab empanadas, but a thriving community of empanada lovers. Out of the many creative fillings in Juan & Maria’s famous fried empanada shells, I opted for rice, beans, and cheese. The empanada did not disappoint. The shell was crispy and flaky, and the inside had spice and flavor that transported me to Latin America. I also tried the Veggie Breakfast empanada. Although this may not be typical for South America, it sure was delicious and an ingenious idea. The filling consisted of egg, cheese, and other vegetables. It was like an omelet deep fried in a crispy shell!

These empanadas come from the beautifully diverse country of Chile, filled with gracious glaciers of Patagonia in the South and the Atacama desert in the north. Chile should definitely be on everyone's bucket list. Anyways, of course, they speak Spanish in Chile, but there are many differences in accents and slangs to the point where a Spanish or Mexican would not understand! Unlike it's neighbors of Bolivia or Peru, Chile is much more white than indigenous. This means that indigenous languages in Chile (like Aymara, Huilliche, and Mapudungun) are more in danger and need saving. Learn more here:

Adios and Jikisiñkama (Goodbye in Aymara)

-The Linguistic Foodie :)

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