Sunday, November 29, 2009


once - pronounced (OHN-say) is Chilean for tea time. I've been told the etymology of this word has to do with aristocratic Chilean women enamored with the Chilean alcohol, aguardiente, would have a bit of this at the evening tea time. Proper Chilean women, instead of inviting their girlfriends to drink aguardiente, invited them to have "once" (eleven), a euphemism for aguardiente, since aguardiente has eleven letters.

I think I've only been served aguardiente once at once, in Southern Chile. Nowadays, once can be constituted by some of all of the following: bread, toast, mashed avocado, coffee, tea, cold cuts, quesillo, pie, cookies.

It's eaten usually between 7pm-9pm in most Chilean households.

Edited Dec 2010:
Apparently U.S. culture had something called "elevenses" as well. Interesting what one learns. I came across this fact reading an essay by Michael Pollan, the author of The Omnivore's Dilemma.

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