Located on the waterfront of the port city of Puerto Montt, the southernmost point of the Lake District and jumping-off point to the Chiloe archipelago and Carrertera Austral, this busy wharf and market never seems to rest. From the interior bay and Pacific, artisan fishermen extract their bounty of local shellfish (many without names) and fish. Inside the market, "caseros," vendors also hawk creamy local cheeses such as the smoked cheese (beloved in the south), crisp empanadas stuffed with savory shellfish, and seasonal produce like "murtilla," mulberries that appear in the fall for jams and liquors.
In the south, many homes have the tradition of cold smoking their fish or shellfish. In the market, long strands of smoked mussels are sold and added to stews and soups (and give a potent smell to parts of the market).
Adjacent to the market is a small area sending handicrafts. Skip the souvenirs and find the beautiful handmade mortars and pestles made from volcanic rock and sold for only a few dollars. Worth the exploration while in the city to appreciate the abundance of this region of Chile.
Av. Angelmó corner Pacheco Altamirano, Puerto Montt
Photo: Francisco Ramirez (http://eatwineblog.com)