10 Kinds of Food to Eat when in Colombia

10 Kinds of Food to Eat when in Colombia

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.

1. Empanadas

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

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.

3. Arepa

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

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?

5. Ajiaco

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.

6. Lechona

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.

7. Cuy

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

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!

10. Cocadas

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.

maria lucia venegas otoya
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.

Where and what to eat in Antique Part 2

Where and what to eat in Antique Part 2

Fresh fruits. This part of the Philippines is filled with natural resources. It also means this part is also filled with fresh fruits too. You can trek in the mountains and eat fruits for free. Or you can just simply ask your friendly neighbour for some guavas, atis, coconuts, duhat, etc.. I remember when I was in the Ati tribe, I just asked for an atis fruit and they simply gave it to me.. We gave them jollibee in return :D

If you don’t feel like asking, just go to the market and buy yourself some fresh foods.

atis fruit

Chao Long – At last! I don’t need to go to Palawan or Vietnam to get a taste of delicious Vietnamese Chao Long dish. The favorite soup is now in Antique. Well done entrepreneurial souls! This motivates me to re-open my coffee shop again. Anyway, for those who wants to taste the vietnamese dish in Antique, go to San Jose, then ride a tricycle and tell them you want to go this restaurant that serves Chao Long in Dalipe.

chao long in Antique

Shells – This is considered exotic to many including me.. Until I found out it’s a normal dish in the province. You can buy them at the market and let your homestay host cook it for you. It can really be challenging to eat one mind you.. have lots of patience.

shells in Antique

The interesting part is, if you live near the sea, you can eat shells for free.. just get it in the beach side..

Getting food in the beachside. Antique, Philippines

The shells there looks like this. So have you seen sea shells by the sea shore lately? :D Aren’t they yummy?


This is part 2 of of the food trip series in Antique. For part 1, please go to http://grasya.com/2012/11/where-and-what-to-eat-in-antique/

There are also different kinds of fishes and varieties of kakanin, guess this topic needs a part 3.

How to make your own Korean Kimbap or Japanese Sushi

How to make your own Korean Kimbap or Japanese Sushi

I was at a mall in Manila the other day with a friend. And because we miss Japanese food, we proceeded to eat in a Japanese restaurant that offers buffet sushi servings.

It was great to eat sushi again, but when I looked at the prices, 2 sushi costs around 100 pesos already.. In the sunday market in Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2 sushi will only cost you 10 baht, or around 15 pesos… so the price is really an overkill xD


It was great to give in to cravings from time to time, but I think its better if you just make your own sushi… sorry Japanese restaurants.. I’ll still go eat in your restaurants if I feel like splurging… ;D

Anyway, for those who are frugal smart, here’s the steps on how to make your own experimented Maki Sushi.. or Korean Kimbap.. Thank you to my Korean friends who taught me how to do this last 2004..

Seaweed Paper, you can buy this in the supermarket
Sticky rice, if its not available, plain rice will do
Ripe Mango
Scrambled Eggs
Crab Sticks, you can buy this in the supermarket
Kikoman soysauce

1. Cook rice, then cook scrambled eggs
2. Cut vertical slices of mango, cucumber and scrambled eggs
3. Spread thin amounts of rice evenly in seaweed paper
4. Place slices of mango, cucumber, eggs, and crab sticks on top of rice
5. Roll seaweed paper
6. Cut the rolled sushi/kimbap into slices.. or if you’re feeling lazy, dip them into soysauce and eat them up already ^_^


That’s my experimented Korean kimbap or Japanese sushi version that is very Oishi/Mashita/Aroy/Masarap! ^_^ So next time, please don’t get ripped off by overpriced sushi again, unless you’re willing to get ripped off ^_^

Fiesta in the Philippines

Why do some families afford lavish celebrations during fiesta? Feeding the whole neighbourhood, or town is not an easy task. You have to involve the whole family (and extended family) on the expenses and preparation for the celebration, just to entertain and feed people, some of them you don’t even know..

Apparently, that is the beauty of these kinds of festivities.. Every fiesta is named after a Patron Saint of a town.. and it’s a thanksgiving to the guardian Saint of all the good rewards the family has received and it’s a way of sharing the good blessings to everyone too..

This one is in Bohol:

Every time I attend a fiesta celebration in the Philippines, these are my observations:

1. Fiestas are still alive in provinces while not so much celebrated by families in Metro Manila. I think this has something to do with cost of living and safety. It is not really easy to invite strangers to eat in your house in the big city.

2. You will be surprised even seemingly lower income families in provinces can still afford to celebrate fiesta. What is the secret? Some families have a member that is abroad, or have a higher earning income. Also, there goes the low cost of living in the province.. so don’t under estimate a nipa hut..

bahay kubo kahit munti, ang appliances doon ay sarisari

3. Almost all neighbors are related. If you are visiting a fiesta of a relative, you will be introduced to your uncle of the aunt of the grandfather of your dad.. or your 1st cousin of the 2nd wife of your step grandmother…

4. Reunions are a big deal to some villages. I observed even students who are studying in the big city took a long week absence just to participate in beauty pageants in the villages. And families who have migrated to other places go back and look for traditional food that they have dearly missed.

5. Every fiesta, several pigs and chickens went to heaven.. I said a little prayer for them :D. This is a picture of a roasted pig. For vegetarians, this is not a good sight; for Muslims, they can’t even imagine eating this, but for meat lovers, this is Heaven.

roasted pig

6. New to Fiestas in the Philippines? The trick here is to fast a day before Fiesta, then eat a little bit of everything in every house.. Rest assure that you won’t need to eat til next day.


It’s not everyday you get to celebrate fiesta, after the food has gone, it’s back to diet mode of tuyo and kamatis (fried fish and tomatoes) again… it’s time to work hard and be frugal, so there is something to spend in next years celebration. So what do you like about fiestas? Do you also celebrate them too?

Here’s a fond memory of Fiesta in Panglao, Bohol when I lived there last 2012:

Here are related articles I wrote about Fiesta in the Philippines

Where to eat horse in Cebu

Where to eat horse in Cebu

I’m trying to be vegetarian.. in fact, I ate more veggies than meat since I came home from Nepal.

But sometimes you have to be adventurous not to miss out on fun stuff :D… such as eating horse meat…This is a very delayed article though, the last time I went there was last year and I’m just featuring it now..

I’m sure that horse went to heaven for fulfilling a grand purpose of making our tummy happy… but I’m not gonna eat horse meat again, not because I hate the taste but I can’t imagine a horse being slaughtered :((

horse meat

How was the taste? It’s like a blend of beef and pig.. but definitely taste like meat. Geesh, no one will ever invite me to do a food tasting promotion here ;D

I also ate corn rice instead of the regular rice.. taste like rice really.. you might want to try it out of curiousity.

horse meat and corn rice

Where did I ate it? Go here:
Barangay Pardo, Cebu City
at the back of Pardo Police Station at Pardo Wet Market


Big thanks goes to my cousin kuya Jung and his pretty angel Angelica for letting me go to undiscovered places in Cebu ^_^

where to eat horse meat