Citizens, it is a well-known fact that I, the all-encompassing TFD, am a huge fan of the spicy! I’ve posted any number of spicy condiments from across Asia, the Caribbean and Africa – now it’s time for one from South America! 🙂
Pebre is a Chilean condiment made of coriander, chopped onion, olive oil, garlic and ground or pureed spicy aji peppers. It may also contain chopped tomatoes. Pebre is most commonly used on bread. It is also used on meat, or when meat such as choripán is provided in a bread roll.
In Brazil, a similar sauce can be found by the name of Vinagrete (which is less hot than Pebre due to the lack of peppers in it). This sauce is one of the most popular sauces in Brazilian churrascadas.
In Mexico they also use a similar sauce called pico de gallo with tacos of cochinita pibil or other preparations. Pico de gallo is also made with onion, coriander and tomato.
In the Dominican Republic it is called wasakaka and usually has lime or sour orange juice.
The word pebre in Catalan means pepper of any type, in this case ají cultivars of chili pepper. The origin of Pebre as a sauce in Chile dates to the arrival of Catalan engineers and highly skilled masons under the supervision of the Italian architect Joaquin Toesca, for the construction of the Tajamares de Santiago, the fluvial channels, river walls and bridges for the main river that intersects the city of Santiago, the Rio Mapocho (Mapocho River).
Catalan workers made a simple sauce (salsa) with cilantro, oil, vinegar and salt, called Pebre for its main ingredient the ají. Probably due to the lack of ingredients like pine nuts and roasted almonds this could be a variation of the Romesco sauce, a Catalan bell pepper sauce.
Citizens, there is no one “definitive” recipe for pebre, it tends to vary regionally throughout Chile. That said, I am very partial to this version and I hope you enjoy it as well! My secret addition – one clove of roasted garlic, totally optional of course!
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