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The Road of the “Kuchen”

 Estimated reading time: 1 min. Texts Pablo Etchevers   Photos Mario Ptasik (1) y Jorge González (2)
Tour around the Frutillar tea houses

German pastrymaking is famous for its traditional recipes. The “kuchen” is an ancient tart that manages to take us back 150 years in time to the days on which the German colonists arrived in the Lake District.

Ancient Recipes

In 1850, the idea of the Chilean government to populate the lands of its southern provinces with German immigrants became true. The first German colonists that arrived were mostly craftsmen and carpenters, who immediately set themselves to building their homes.

Their wives and kids, apart from helping them with everything related to the building of the houses, would spread an endless variety of recipes brought from the old continent in their kitchens. This, along with the new fruit they would find in the area, made them feel closer to their native Germany.

Thus, the flavors of the German cuisine with centuries of age would occupy a place of paramount importance in the Lake District, where cakes, tarts, sauces, German onces and recipes that were transmitted by word of mouth became part of the attractions of this beautiful Chilean area.
Tour around the Frutillar tea houses
A Tart Called Kuchen

Time caused these recipes to be passed from one family to another and from generation to generation. This way, grannies began to keep jealously in their homes a piece of knowledge in each of their recipes which they would secretly pass onto their daughters and granddaughters.

Each family would have a formula to prepare the famous kuchen and during each of the celebration meetings held among friends and neighbors, preparing the best and most delicious kuchen became a popular challenge both in the small city of Frutillar and in the rest of the little towns raised on the shores of Lake Llanquihue.

The kuchen, which is pronounced “köujen” in German, is a tart or plain pastry to which a fruit sauce, made from myrtle berries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, currants, elderberries, morello cherries, cherries, nuts, poppies, plums and chestnuts, is added on top. The list of fruit is endless and new ones are constantly included in order to come to the perfect flavor.
Tour around the Frutillar tea houses
Raiders of the Perfect Kuchen

Tea time found us strolling about the small beautiful streets of Frutillar, its architecture and its cultural past, enchanted by the various smells and flavors coming out from its chimneys as the clock strikes 5 in the afternoon.

Every single day, from their shop windows, the various tea houses located on Phillipi Avenue opposite Lake Llanquihue offer several kinds of strudell, chocolate cakes and, of course, the famous kuchens that visitors cannot miss in the company of some tea, coffee or hot chocolate.
Tour around the Frutillar tea houses
Famous sites, such as Bauernhaus, Guten Apetit, kuchen Laden, the Café Trayen or the well-known Restaurante del Club Alemán, as a result of their style and germanic accent, are the favourite places at the time of approaching the delicious German gastronomy.

One of the most exquisite and tasty traditions of a colonization that even today makes mouths water .
Useful Data
How to get here
Most tea houses are located on the waterfront Phillipi Avenue, opposite Lake Llanquihue.
Tea time
At the Café Bauernhaus, you may purchase the book “150 años de la Repostería Alemana”, a real tribute to lovers of ancient recipes that the author, Alejandra Doepking, has collected during her entire life in beautiful Frutillar.
Café Bauernhaus
Av Philippi 779 esq. O´Higgins (5620000) Frutillar - X Región - Chile
Cel: 9822-2489  
Av. Philippi 963 (5620000) Frutillar - X Región - Chile
Tel: +56 65 242-1346  
Lavanda Casa de Té
Km. 15 Cno. a Quebrada Honda (5620000) Frutillar - X Región - Chile
Cel: 9269-1684 / 9458-0804  
Inter Patagonia

Tour Kind
Useful Data Useful Data


The Viewpoint

“Whoever has not tasted a delicious “kuchen” or enjoyed some typically German cake? My childhood memories remain intact as I recall my ”Oma” (granny) waiting for us on Sundays with yeast “kuchens”, a recipe similar to what used to be eaten in Germany in the old days. Opening her door and smelling the aroma of cinnamon, vanilla and fruits she had just baked after collecting them from her huge orchard a few hours before was unique. Maybe as a consequence of these small things, that are great at the same time, I cannot feel prouder of having been born in this rainy and cold land, and of having put so sweetly on weight.”

Alejandra Doepking - Teacher at the International and Traditional Chilean Cuisine Course. Author of the successful book “150 años de La Repostería Alemana” -150 Years of German Pastrymaking

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