A marraqueta, also known as pan francés ('French bread' in Spanish) and other names, is a bread roll made with wheat flour, salt, water and yeast.

Chilean marraquetta
Alternative names
TypeWheat bread roll
Place of origin
Associated cuisineChile[1]
Main ingredientsWheat flour, salt, water, leavening agent
Food energy
(per 100 g serving)
267 kcal (1118 kJ)

This type of roll has a crusty exterior[2] and is very popular in South America. In Chile the bread dates to the 1800s; it is considered a national food of Chile.


  • Argentina: pan felipe (Felipe bread)
  • Bolivia: Marraqueta, pan de batalla
  • Brazil: pão francês (French bread), pão cacetinho, cacetinho, pão de sal (salt bread), pão de trigo (wheat bread), pão de água (water bread), aguado, careca, jacó
  • Chile: marraqueta,[1] pan batido (whipped bread), pan francés
  • Paraguay: pan felipe
  • Peru: marraqueta, pan francés
  • Uruguay: pan marsellés (Marseille bread)

In Chile

In Chile, marraqueta is a staple food eaten at every meal.[1] Marraqueta is the most widely consumed bread in Chile and is used as toast,[3] in sandwiches and as a binder for certain recipes such as pastel de carne (meatloaf). It is widely considered a national staple food and important to Chilean national identity.[1][2] The bread is often consumed for breakfast topped with mashed avocado.[1] The crust is considered the essential element of the bread; when used for sandwiches, the inner dough (the miga) is often scooped out and discarded, leaving the crust to be filled.[1][4]

It is also called pan batido (whipped bread) or pan francés (French bread) depending on the region. The Chilean marraqueta is created by butting two rolls up against one another and slicing through both almost deeply enough to form for rolls, then baking.[1]

Chilean marraqueta bread can be divided into four pieces with the hands.[5] It does not contain fat and the proofing process takes longer than other breads. The unusual form of the four buns allows it to be divided very easily.[5]

Many historians agree that the marraqueta originated in Valparaíso, Chile, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when major Chilean ports such as Valparaíso and Talcahuano received thousands of European immigrants.[2] The story goes the bread was invented by two French baker brothers in Valparaíso whose last name was Teran-Marraquett, and the bread went on to become very popular among Chileans in a very short time.[2] This story would explain both the marraqueta and pan francés names. In Valparaíso itself, somewhat confusingly, marraqueta means the four small rolls while half of this is called pan batido, the use of which is a shibboleth of the Port of Valparaíso (but is ignored by national supermarket chains). There is no clear agreement on what is considered one unit of marraqueta and while some bakers claim is the four pieces of bread, some others claim that a unit is only half (so they say that the four pieces are two marraquetas).

An alternative theory of the bread's origin was proposed by French naturalist and botanist Claude Gay, who suggested that marraqueta was first eaten in Chile in the 19th century.[6]

Regional varieties


The Bolivian marraqueta is consumed mostly in the metropolitan area of La Paz[2] and El Alto. It is prepared in common ovens between midnight and dawn to be sold fresh and crunchy by vendors in the morning.

The marraqueta of La Paz was declared cultural patrimony in 2006.


In Brazil, this bread is called by many different names depending on the region, such as pão francês (French bread), pão cacetinho, cacetinho, pão de sal (salt bread), pão de trigo (wheat bread), pão de água (water bread), aguado, careca, jacó. It is used to make pão na chapa. It is extremely popular in Brazil. It is baked and sold in tens of thousands of "padarias" (deli/bakeries) located everywhere from major metropolises to rural villages.


The Marseille bread called pan marsellés in Uruguay is different from the Brazilian pão francês. The Brazilian type is less dense and lighter and crispier, meanwhile the Uruguayan version is made with a denser bread dough, resulting in a harder bread (similar to Italian bread).

See also


  1. Smith, Eileen (2016-07-07). "In Chile, 'Marraqueta' Is The Daily Bread". NPR. Archived from the original on 2020-10-26. Retrieved 2023-01-10.
  2. "Panes del Mundo. Tradicional Marraqueta". Venezuela: Magazine del Pan. 2005. Archived from the original on 10 February 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2008.
  3. Once: A guide to Chile’s oddly-named evening snack Archived 2014-02-22 at the Wayback Machine Monday, February 06, 2012 retrieved October 08, 2013
  4. "Marraqueta | Traditional Bread From Chile". Retrieved 2023-01-10.
  5. "Learn How to Make Delicious Traditional Chilean Bread". The Spruce Eats. Retrieved 2023-01-10.
  6. Gay, Claudio (1865). Historia física y política de Chile según documentos adquiridos en esta república durante doce años de residencia en ella y publicada bajo los auspicios del supremo gobierno. p. 57. Archived from the original on 2023-01-10. Retrieved 2023-01-10. En Chile hay varias clases (de pan) cuyas principales son el pan francés que es el común de la Europa, el pan inglés de forma redonda y un poco menos cocido que el anterior, el chileno sazonado con grasa y generalmente usado en las provincias, la talera que se da a los peones y a los mineros y amasada con la harina en hoja, y enfin la tortilla preparada como al tiempo de Abraham y como la preparan todavía los Árabes y otros pueblos de la África, es decir sin levadura y cocido bajo las cenizas poco antes de la comida.

Further reading

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