For the Love of Bread: Meet La Farine Pan a La Antigua

Chile is having a love affair with bread.

This country adores its pancito. People line up morning and evening to buy the day´s haul, scrounging about in bottomless bins for the freshest options before placing that ubiquitous yellow bag on the scale to be weighed. From the traditional panaderia, where they make four roll marrequetas that are cooked with water in the oven to create a crispy crust (read an amazing article about it here) through to amasanderias where they prepare all other types of Chilean bread like the humble hallulla or (my favorite) pan amasado, bread really is a staple part of the daily life here – best enjoyed with lashings of avocado, olive oil, lemon juice and salt.  And of course no lunch outing would be complete without a free bread basket and pebre.

It makes sense, then, to draw attention to a small place making big waves in the bread world.  La Farine – Pan a la Antigua is located in Curacavi, just outside of Santiago near by Kross ¨preservative-free¨brewery and Apicola del Alba natural cosmetics (and maker of my favorite conditioner ever).  I found them because Casa Luz, one of my favorite restaurants in Santiago, has used their bread and highlighted them on Instagram. They have just opened up their new store and make a great side stop on your way to Valparaiso or the Casablanca Valley.  Let´s find out a little more shall we?

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Ten Questions with Josefina from La Farine – Pan a la Antigua

1.Who is La Farine/ Quien es La Farine?

We are a family that decided to learn the trade, from the art of making bread to how to sell this ancestral product in Curacavi.  We are a 6 person team with the whole family involved: Daniel, Josefina, Pia, Miel, Violeta and Hernan.  Each person has a different role to play.

La Farine es una familia que decidio aprender el oficio, desde el arte de hacer el pan hasta como vender este ancestral producto en Curacavi.  Somos un equipo de 6: Daniel, Josefina, Pia, Miel, Violeta y Hernan. Toda la familia involucrada, cada uno cumpliendo roles en los diferentes momentes de esta actividad. 

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2. Do you have any family history making bread/ Tienes una historia de familia trabajando con el pan?

Not at all. Daniel is a chef and life was slowly taking him down the bread path, and then after an adventure in France we realized that we wanted to dedicate our life to it.  We are creating a family tradition.

No para nada. Daniel es cocinero y la vida lentamente lo fue llevando por el camino del pan, ahora en nuestra ultima aventura por Francia nos dimos cuenta de que realmente era lo que nos quieramos dedicar. Estamos creando una tradicion familiar. 

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3. What is the motivation behind the store/Que es la motivacion de la tienda?

Our daily motivation is to make good bread, to recover the most that we can from this ancient tradition and to reach more people eery day, so that they change the bread that they normally eat for something that is more nutritious, with intense flavour and aroma.

Nuestra motivacion diaria es elaborar un buen pan, recuperar en lo que mas se pueda esta tan antigua tecnica y poder llegar dia a dia a mas personas, que la gente cambie el pan que consme normalmente y se atreva a comer un pan realmente nutritivo, con sabor y aromas intensos.

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4. What type of bread do you make/Que tipos de pan venden?

We make bread from all over the world as well as some of Daniel´s own recipes. We make country bread loaves, Batard, Brioche, Bagels, Rye (40% rye flour) Pan with olives or chocolate, hamburger buns, Focaccia, Pizza, Fig & Nut, Turmeric & Cranberry … and anything else our customers ask for. The interesting thing is that we use sourdough and we are always seeking to perfect our product.

Hacemos panes del mundo y recetas improvisadas por Daniel. Hogazas Pan de Campo, Baguette de tradicion, Batard, Brioche, Bagels, Moldes de centeno al 40%, Pan con Aceituna, pan Higo Nuez, Hogazas Curcuma & Cranberries, Pan de Chocolate, Pan de Hamburguesa, Focaccia, Pizzas … y tambien lo que nos pidan nuestros clientes. Lo interesante es que utilamos masa madre y prefermentos. El intenta perfeccionar el producto constantemente.

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5. Which bread is your favorite/Cuales tipos de pan son tus favoritos?

The sourdough with linseed and the baguette.

Hogaza integral centeno y baguette de tradicion.

6. Which bread is very ¨chilean¨ to you and why do Chileans stereotypically eat so much of it/ Cual pan para ti es muy ´chileno´ y por que los chilenos comen tanto?

The truth is that I don´t know why Chileans eat so much bread – we have the second highest consumption in the world – and the bread that we eat is not very healthy with an infinity of ingredients that generate sicknesses and obesity. Of our breads, none are Chilean as our inspiration is linked to cultures far from Chile where there exist more varieties and a different culture of bread-making.

La verdad que no se como los chilenos comen tanto pan – somos el segundo pais qe come mas pan el mundo y comemos un pan muy poco saludable, con una infinidad de ingredientes que lo unico que logran son generar enfermedades y obesidad. De nuestros panes, la verdad es que ninguno es Chileno, nuestra inspiracion esta muy ligada a culturas lejos de Chile donde existen mas variedades y una cultura de pan diferente.

7. What makes your bread special/ Por que tu pan es especial?

What I think makes our bread special (and all those who make these types of breads) is that we take our time seriously, respect processes to the letter, love what we do and are constantly inspired by master bakers from all over the world. The use of the sourdough gives the bread that something special: it gives greater durability, flavor and aroma as well as being easier to digest. For example, we have customers who are intolerant to gluten but who can eat our bread. This type of bread was invented more than 4,000 years ago in Ancient Egypt and we are simply recovering some of the oldest techniques in the world.

Lo que yo creo que hace especial tanto a nuestro pan como al de todos los que hacen este mismo tipo de panificacion es que nos tomamos enserio el tiempo, respetamos los procesos al pie de la letra, amamos lo que hacemos y no inspiramos constantemente por maestros panaderos alrededor del mundo. El uso de la masa madre le otorga un valor especial al pan. Le otorga mayor durabilidad, sabor y aromas mas intensos. Mucho mas facil de digerir. Por ejemplo tenemos clientes que son intolerantes al gluten pero pueden consumir nuestro tipo de pan. Nosotros no inventamos este tipo de pan especial, lo inventaron los egipcios hace mas de 4.000 años, Lo que nosotros hacemos es simplemente recuperar la tecnica de unos de los oficios mas antiguos del mundo.

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8. And now for some general questions! Where is your favorite place for food in Chile/ Donde esta tu lugar favorito para comer en Chile?

The island of Chiloe. where I discovered the culinary traditions that are still maintained there, as well as their myths and legends.

En Chiloe, descubri que la tradicion culinaria se mantiene en esas tierras. Asi como sus mitos y leyendas.

9. And your favorite place you have visited in Chile/ Donde esta tu lugar favorito en Chile?

The south of Chile.

El sur de Chile.

10. What is next for La Farine/ Que quieres para el futuro para La Farine?

The truth is that we don´t think that far into the future as we are 100% focused on doing a good job in the present.  I think that time will show us new paths and options, but in essence we will always be following the same goal – to make good bread.

But if we are dreaming, we would love to be able to plant our own wild wheat, make our flour and be completely self-sufficient.

La verdad es que no pensamos tanto en el futuro de la farine , estamos 100 % enfocados en hacer un buen trabajo en el presente, creo que el tiempo nos ira mostrando nuevos caminos y opciones, y que en escencia sigamos siendo siempre los mismos y con el mismo objetivo , hacer un buen pan.

Pero si se trata de soñar, nos encantaria poder sembrar nuestra propia variedad de trigo salvaje, tener nuestra harina y ser completamente autosuficientes.

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The Nitty Gritty

Address: Ambrosio O´Higgins 1216, Local 2, Curacavi.

They deliver twice a month to Rasavant (Casa de las Artes, Cuerpo y Terapia), La Pinta 2972, Las Condes (Metro Colon). Follow their amazing account on Instagram to be up to date with future drop off dates!

Facebook here

Instagram here

Mummy Diaries: Guilt

Some days …

Some days I look at that door and imagine leaving. Some days I try and picture what my life would be if i’d not had children. Some days all i want to do is go back in time. Then I feel guilty. All the time I feel such overwhelming guilt for thinking things contrary to the ´motherhood is perfect´ideal that so many people perpetuate, or wanting something that I – as a mother of two beautiful children – shouldn’t want.

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Getting dressed would be a great start!

The guilt started when I was pregnant. My first pregnancy was an accident that happened with a man I hadn´t known long and who I wasn´t formally committed to. I felt the first lashings of guilt as I wondered how we could get this to work – was I being too selfish? –  and how the flying heck was I going to be able to care for a newborn when I was terrified of the things and had the uncanny ability to make them cry. I obsessed over everything during that first pregnancy –  I only ate certain foods, omitted everything else that could bring some kind of risk to my growing fetus, exercised, read up on the benefits of Mozart for babies, sang to my stomach, played my flute and regular recordings of Chilean music (I went back to NZ), planned my natural homebirth (best start for baby, right?), stocked up on organic and all-natural everything, made my own babywipes (no chemicals for my son!) and tanned my nipples in the hope they´d harden up in time for breastfeeding, although I wasn´t too committed as I knew I´d just be a natural because I wanted it (LOL – read about my breastfeeding horrors here).

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The truth is that having a family can light up your life, but just like a light there comes a time when they turn off and darkness sets in. It isn´t always rainbows and happiness with children, even though you love them like crazy and can´t bear the thought of not being with them forever, sometimes all that love and need can feel overwhelming.

I also worried excessively. According to all the baby books, my diet had been less than perfect when I fell pregnant. I also had smoked cigarettes and drank alcohol because I found out at 7 weeks). And surely – somewhere along the line – I´m sure I´d eaten ceviche (I was in Chile). And every now and then I´d give in to temptation and whirlwind emotions and binge eat my way through a bag containing Twisties and Whittakers Peanut Slabs (I would sell a kidney for either of those Antipodean treats right now!).  I ended up putting the baby books at the back of the wardrobe because they made me feel so scared and guilty, and they only ever saw the light of day when I´d dig them out to see what kind of fruit my baby was that month (I still have no idea what size a kumquot is).

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E and I

Skip forward to pregnancy number two, and guilt struck again. This time it happened when we were in the sh*t financially and were living on a weekly food shop valuing CLP$20,000.  Getting pregnant was happening easily for us, which must have been hard to deal with for my sister in law who was in a ´perfect´ relationship and was going through endless fertility exams and treatments to fall pregnant (and yet my brother in law was never tested – go figure). And then I went into labour at 26 weeks.  I´ve never been so scared in my life. Had I eaten something bad? Was it my body? Was I not eating enough nutrients? Worse – was I rejecting my own baby?  I was terrified for baby M – whom I loved before even meeting – but I was also terrified of all the needles, drugs and exam results.  It was also bloody humiliating to have to call over a lady with a potty every time I needed the toilet, and relieve myself lying down in the bed. I also started to feel upset at the thought I wouldn´t likely have the perfect birth experience I´d been dreaming of.  Back at home, being on strict bed rest drove me out of my mind and, even though I loved my unborn child, I had to fight the urge to get up and do anything. I felt sad I didn´t get to take E to his first day of jardin, and check it over to give it the Helen seal of approval. During this time I had to give my trust completely to my partner and an endless stream of doctors, nurses and midwives because I literally couldn´t protect my child in any other way.

(Perhaps now would be a good time to give you a brief overview of my time in San Jose Public Hospital in Independencia. The Urgencia was absolutely horrendous. I waited a long time to be seen (I´b been to Clinica Davila first and there was a marked difference). It was really dark, hardly anyone around, and there was a heavily pregnant woman screaming in pain for HOURS who was left unattended and I heard her being treated nastily by the nurses. I went over to her and rubbed her back, because even though I was in early labour, this poor thing really needed help. After this, I was transferred to the labour ward, with ten other women who were in the midst of full labour beside me (let me tell you, nothing is as scary as being in labour beside ten other screaming women who are forbidden to sit up in their bed, and forbidden to have visitors). I was here for a day and night. After this the risk of popping out M early was lessened, so I was transferred to the regular maternity ward. This was really nice!! The staff were helpful, came right after I called them, I was given food whenever I wanted it (really sugary but at least I got food), and all the doctors kept me updated and answered all my questions (unlike when E was hospitalized at Roberto del Rio). After my week´s stay, I had to return to San Jose for all my checkups.  This was awful. They don´t take appointments, you just have an allotted time when you have to go join the queue … beside at least 100 others. Despite being on bed rest, I would have to stand for around 6 hours to wait for my turn.  The doctors and midwives I saw were always friendly, but they were crazy overworked.  Despite everything, I got my perfect birth with M, with my regular holistic midwife as after so many weeks it wasn´t dangerous for M to be born. I gave birth (with Fonasa) in Talagante Public Hospital.  My midwife was beyond amazing and I stayed just one night afterwards but it was really pleasant  -I can´t fault the place).

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Photo taken at Museo a Cielo Abierto, San Miguel

When you have more than one child, everything becomes different. In a way you segment, because you have to give so much more of yourself to your family, and what you give has to be equal.  It gets really hard to think of yourself as anything other than a motherand when they all start crying at the same time it gets really hard to just take a breath and deal with it, and the crying rings in your ears long after they stop.  As I work from home and my partner is almost never here as he works during the day and studies at night, it can seem like a lonely life.  Let´s get real, babies and toddlers do not make the best conversation partners and in all honesty playing Thomas the Tank or knock down the blocks expires in funness pretty darn quick. Sometimes it almost feels as though my brain is rotting away up there, or at least drowning in nursery rhymes and tears, many of which are my own.

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As an expat, you have the additional pressure of being without the support network you would likely have in your home country, as well dealing with both a new language culture. Making friends with Chileans can be difficult as they aren´t stereotypically very open or trusting, and while you can make easy friendships with other expats who are in a similar boat, the truth is the time will come when they – or you – will move on.   Throw in a cross-cultural relationship and boom – you find yourself in a multi faceted pickle sometimes!!

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Reaching out – such a small action but so important. Reach up and up you will go!

I was recently given some advice from a fellow expat who describes herself as a ¨trailing spouse¨, one who follows the work commitments of her partner around the globe.  Her advice is golden, and here it is in a nutshell:

  1. Make time for yourself and check in on your own thoughts.  Maybe this means waking up before your family, doing a guided meditation, twerking like Beyonce when they fall asleep (I do!), learn a new hobby, WHATEVER, as long as it is for you.
  2. Start networking. Doing things you enjoy will introduce you to like-minded people, or use Facebook groups like Discover Chile: English Speaking Moms to set up playdates, or connect with a global network of expats with Facebook groups like Two Fat Expats or I Am A Triangle.  You won´t click with everyone and friendships take time, but putting this effort in is a great way to meet people and get things off your chest.
  3. Have a think about what you are interested in, or what you liked before you had children, and find a way to bring that back into your life. Whether that is charity work, cooking, yoga, dance, reading – it all counts!  Many suburbs offer classes at their local municipal library or you can find free online courses all over the internet.
  4. Nutrition. Food is what fuels you so make sure you are getting enough of the good stuff. A great tip is to hard what might be unappetizing to you inside a smoothie, and there are heaps of ways you can get food delivered direct to your door. Try La Paloma Saludables  or if you are in Santiago/Viña del Mar area, you can sign up for organic meat from the Cow Share initiative.
  5. Finally, talk. Let it out. I have been told I am too honest, that I overshare and make people feel uncomfortable, but also that my honesty has helped people to recognize the truth about their own feelings and speak with their partner or even a professional. I believe talking can be cathartic and is a great way to find out what is really bothering you.

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    My absolutely non-negotiable time for me every day is the shower. I am obsessed with Lush and my must-have products include Ro´s Argan Body Conditioner, Full of Grace facial serum, Godiva 2 in 1 shampoo (great for hard water) and Sympathy for the Skin body moisturizer (Dream Cream, which is above, is great for sensitive skin so I use it on Emilio sometimes).

What other advice would you give? Please give this a ´like´ if it resonated with you and remember to follow me on Facebook or WordPress to keep updated about new blogs! I am also on Instagram, where you can see photos from my daily life in Santiago. Have a great day and SMILE please!! Smiling – even if you force it – is a great way to boost the good vibes inside 🙂

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Some more Mummy Diaries you might enjoy:

Mummy Diaries: Control

Mummy Diaries: Love

Day in the Life Of

The Truth

25 Things Every Mama in Chile Should Do

 

Photo:Trish Shaw

How to be Earthquake Savvy

Chile has a lot of earthquakes.

Science tells us we can to thank the subduction fault off of Chile´s coast that is constantly busy.  This sees the Nazca plate pushing against the South American plate, causing wonders (like the Andes mountain range) and unpredictable conditions such as earthquakes.

Personal experience tells us that these jaw-dropping, bone-shaking and arm-clutching  phenomenon are frightening spectacles of Mother Nature´s power.

Here are a couple of facts:

  • There is no proven way to predict an earthquake. This is because there are consistent signs for scientists to measure.  Scientists monitor activity history in order to predict patters, and use sediment samples to gauge when earthquakes have occurred. They then try to track the ´seismic circle´ which is believed to last some 600 years.
  • Earthquakes can be measured in different ways. The Richter Scale was developed in 1934 and is based upon the amplitude of the largest wave (using a seismometer) and the difference between the distance and the seismometer; this scale was specific to California (United States). However, it does not give accurate information for larger quakes. Enter the Moment Magnitude Scale, MW, which measures ´moment´. According to Michigan Technological University, ¨Moment is a product of the distance a fault moved and the force required to move it¨ and this is the only reliable way to measure larger-scale events.
  • ´Earthquake lights´ are a strange phenomenon that are often confused with UFO´s. These strange lights are believed to be emitted from the earth when rocks are under stress.
  • Animals often change behavior right before a quake. Dogs, for example, will often bark and howl seconds before the ground begins to shake while catfish are noted to begin to thrash erratically due to changes in electric fields.
  • An earthquake is no singular event because they come to say hello in groups. Not only can you expect aftershocks, but foreshocks as well.
  • You can track earthquakes using websites and apps which verify recorded earthquakes, seismic activity and can alert you to possible risks.

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    Things are going to go topsy turvy. Photo: Trish Shaw

On February 27 2010, Chile experienced the one of the largest quakes in recorded history. This monsterquake struck the coast Chile at 3.34am, 200miles southwest of Santiago and 22 miles below the Pacific Ocean´s surface.  It also triggered a tsunami and the various aftershocks were big, some as much as 6.9 in magnitude. In total some 500 people lost their lives, and around 2.2million were affected. In Santiago, buildings collapsed, whole suburbs lost electricity and water, and a fire in a chemical plant caused many evacuations.  The International Airport suffered damage and was closed for 72 hours, while elsewhere in Chile damage was recorded as extensive, including a major bridge in Concepcion which collapsed.

My friend Felipe remembers this day well.

¨I was driving home from a party when I felt something slight. I recall saying I thought something was about to happen … and then it hit. I was afraid – the ground was moving like the sea, cables were crashing down, everyone was screaming. But it was afterwards when the real chaos began. Cars were crashing into each other as people tried to get home, all public transport stopped, everyone everywhere was terrified for their loved ones. I remember giving people lifts home because there was no other way for them to travel. There was also a lot of fear afterwards because we had no electricity for days and everyone was worried about having their homes robbed. I live in Quilicura and all the streets set up their own neighborhood watches.  We´d light bonfires and patrol the road to make sure no-one was breaking in or hurting anyone.¨

As huge as this earthquake was, it is not the biggest. That accolade goes to Chile as well, when a mindboggling 9.5 magnitude rumble struck Valdivia on May 22 1960. This is the largest earthquake that we know of, since recording began in the early 1900´s.  Although powerful foreshocks (7.0) sent many people outside (it was the afternoon), the Chilean government states that around 2 million people lost their homes.  Deaths from this disaster are disputed, ranging from as low as 490 and rising to 6000, the majority of which were due to the subsequent tsunami.  Tsunamis traveled across the Pacific Ocean at 200mph, causing changes in the sea level all across the Pacific and and damage in California, Easter Island and Samoa, and killing hundreds of people across Hawaii, Japan and the Philippines.

As frightening as all this sounds (and I know it does), earthquakes are a way of life in Chile and you get used to them fast. In fact, anything less than a 7 is usually referred to as a temblor because terremoto (earthquake) is only reserved for the big stuff. Although many Chileans remain a little traumatized since the shock of 2010, many others barely bat an eyelid; follow their advice – they know what to do.

What to do

Remember:

  1. Mobile phone lines will probably go down. Sending messages using an internet service such as WhatsApp is a better way to stay in touch. Having a radio at home is a good way to keep up to date with information. Try to avoid using your phone unless it is an emergency
  2. It is an idea to include a fire extinguisher in your emergency kit, along with all first aid supplies
  3. STAY CALM! Your calmness will help others around you to calm down, especially children
  4. Don´t forget your pets
  5. After an earthquake, be careful of broken glass, faulty gas/water/electrical connections. Check them and if faulty, turn off (learn how to do this in advance). If you smell gas, open windows and doors and consider reporting it to the authorities
  6. Avoid matches and flame – remember there are aftershocks after the main earthquake
  7. If you are driving, stop the car but stay inside until the shaking stops
  8. During the earthquake, your biggest danger is something falling on you so LOOK UP! Be careful of power lines, bridges, scaffolding, tall buildings. Try to get to an open space. If you are inside, take cover under a table or desk or go to a wall near the center of the building. Stay away from windows and open doors.  If you go outside, remember to wedge your door open
  9. Follow the evacuation or emergency procedures of your building, school or workplace
  10. Include in your emergency supplies enough food and non-perishable water for two weeks, along with batteries, hygiene supplies, a torch and blankets.
  11. Avoid coastal areas such as beaches due to the risk of tsunamis. If you are at the coasts, follow the evacuation route shown or take to higher ground

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If you liked this, you may also like to check out my guide to the Chilean Recluse Spider here.