Ingredient: Harina Tostada

by Liz Caskey on November 25, 2014

On my weekend market trip to La Vega, I was pushing past the crowds jammed into the tight aisles lined with dried fruits, nuts, and ridiculous amounts of junk cereals like Fruit Loops when I sensed a toasty, nutty aroma in the air.

Harina Tostada.

Arriving to the corner, I saw the large, green machine, responsible for toasting the wheat berries to perfection, and after, grinding them into a soft flour. A long line of patrons patiently waited for this humble culinary gift.

I breathed deeply. The smell of harina tostada always reminds me of freshly ground peanut butter.

Harina tostada is very traditional in the rural areas of Chile where it’s mixed with milk and sugar and consumed as a cold or hot beverage. Some people even make it into a thick mash and toss in some chicharones (pork crackling). However, what’s even more popular, especially as we head into summer is the uniquely Chilean love of dusting this flour on top of juicy, fresh watermelon.

Yes. Just toasted flour and watermelon. It is quite unusual but, somehow, works. When you dig in, don’t forget your three wishes, another funny local tradition of how to eat your sandia (watermelon) and toasted wheat.

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