When José Luis Calfucura looks back on his childhood trips to the ancestral Mapuche heartland of La Araucanía – a lush landscape of emerald lakes and puffing volcanoes in the south-central part of Chile – his memories often involve purple teeth. “The adults would tell us kids to go look for maqui berries just so they could laugh at the results,” he recalled. “After we’d eat them, we’d end up with our whole face painted purple.”
As a kid, the maqui was merely a curiosity found near his parent’s hometown – something that indigenous elders told him would give you the energy needed to last the day. Now, as the most renowned Mapuche chef in the Chilean capital of Santiago, Calfucura has made maqui and other native berries from the Southern Cone of South America some of the main protagonists at his restaurant Amaia … (continue reading at the BBC).