Colombia is known for its coffee, emeralds, football and even its beautiful women, but this country has way more to offer than just that. How much do you know about its cuisine, for example? Here are some dishes that are worth mentioning, and definitively worth trying, while you are in this beautiful country.
Whether it is empanada de carne, de pollo, mixta, de queso or de pipián, this is a little snack that you should absolutely try. An empanada is like a little pocket of dough that is filled with different things depending on the region where it is made. In the central regions of Colombia it is filled mostly with rice, meat or chicken (or both) and potatoes.
If you go for the empanada de pipián, which comes from the south-west region of Cauca, you should definitively add some ají de maní (peanut hot sauce) and drink a cold lulada (a beverage made of lulo and piñuela) to make this culinary experience even better!
2. Patacón con hogao
Have you heard of the banana that is not a banana and you should cook before eating? Yes, that’s it! Plantain is the main ingredient of this delicious dish. After being squashed and fried, the patacón is served with a sauce made of onions and tomatoes (hogao) or sometimes with suero costeño, a sort of sour cream which is an important ingredient of many dishes in the Atlantic coast of the country.
Just like the empanadas, there are many kinds of arepas. The ones you should definitively not miss are, however, the arepa con queso and the arepa de choclo. Made with corn flour, this delicious food can accompany your breakfast, lunch or dinner. It is also one of the important components of the Bandeja Paisa.
4. Bandeja Paisa
Paisa is an adjective used to describe the people from Antioquia, the region where this dish comes from. It is served in a big plate or tray (bandeja) where you find rice, red beans, grinded meat, a slice of avocado, a couple of chorizos, plantain and one or two small arepas. Can you believe paisas eat this for breakfast sometimes?
This chicken soup typical from Bogotá and its surroundings has a unique taste to it. Made with different kinds of potatoes, swiss chards, capers and milk cream, this dish makes for a perfect lunch in the Sabana.
Do not freak out if you see the whole pig in front of you! Filled with yellow rice, peas, onions and spices, this pig is cooked for about 10 hours in a brick oven before it gets to your table.
If you do not feel like eating your pet when trying out this guinea pig, you will definitively enjoy it. Cuy is a typical dish from the south region of Colombia, as well as other countries like Ecuador and Perú.
8. Hormigas Culonas
If you are feeling more adventurous, try the Hormigas Culonas. These nutritious ants are collected in the region of Santander, where only the queens are picked out. Their legs and wings are stripped before the ants are soaked in salty water and roasted. Up for the challenge?
9. Manjar blanco
It is very similar to arequipe (something like caramel) and made of the same ingredients: sugar and milk. However, the consistency of the manjar blanco is a little bit harder. It is great to eat with buñuelos or cheese, but it is just as good if you simply deep your spoon in the totuma and have it without anything else!
A typical dessert of the Colombian coast, this dish is made of a delicious mix of arequipe and shredded coconut.
Feel free to add more if you like. Be sure to bookmark this so you know what foods to eat when in Columbia.
Author Bio: Maria Lucia Venegas Otoya is the latest contributor of this blog. This girl from Colombia spent many months traveling around the Philippines. She is currently in Cambodia and is set to travel the world.