Currently marraqueta is the most consumed type of bread in Chile and is used as toast, in sandwiches and as a binder for certain recipes such as pastel de carne (meatloaf). It is widely considered the quintessential Chilean staple food.
Many historians agree that the marraqueta first 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. The story goes the bread was invented by two French baker brothers in Valparaíso whose last name was Marraquette, and the bread went on to became very popular among Chileans in a very short time. This story would explain both the marraqueta and pan francés names.
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 18th century.
Marraqueta is made from flour, water, yeast and salt. It does not contain fat and the proofing process takes longer than other breads. The unusual form of the four buns allows to divide it very easily.