An overview of five local culinary specialties that will not only satisfy you, but will also plunge you into the heart of authentic Colombia:
#1 – Ajiaco
A culinary specialty from Bogota, ajiaco is a soup made from several varieties of potatoes, chicken and corn.
There are as many recipes as there are regions.
An Andean dish par excellence since all the products that make it up are grown locally, this generous soup, with thick cream, capers and avocados before being eaten, is rich enough to be considered a complete dish in its own right.
You will appreciate it after a trek in the region or on a cool Bogotanese night.
#2- Le bandeja paisa
One of the most famous dishes in the country, bandeja paisa is, as its name suggests, from the Paisa region.
The history of this dish goes back to the origins of the Antioquia region in the Andes.
The peasants of the region used to consume this hearty dish, which gave them the energy they needed to get through a whole day of hard work in the fields.
Today it is considered a “national dish” and it will be hard to miss it on your trip to Colombia.
It traditionally contains 14 ingredients: red beans, white rice, ground beef, hogao sauce, chicharron, chorizo, black pudding, fried egg, plantain patties, avocados, tomatoes, arepa, mazamorra and refai.
#3 – The tamales
Made from corn flour dough and as varied as our famous sandwiches, tamales are Native American “papillotes”.
Stuffed with meat, fish, cheese or prepared vegetables, they are steamed in large sheets of dried corn, banana or avocado leaves.
Sweet beaks? You will find many sweet variations and can eat them at any time of the day or night.
You won’t be able to miss them, they can be found on every market stall! Stop and taste them from all regions, preferably hot!
#4 – The arepas
Very popular in Colombia and Venezuela, the arepa is a round bun made of corn flour.
Eaten plain or garnished with meat, beans, cheese or eggs, they are eaten for breakfast as well as as “bread” to accompany a complete dish.
Comparable to the famous French baguette, they can be found on every street corner and each region has its own variation.
Try these little delights with your eyes closed!
#5 – Empanadas
Famous throughout South America, empanadas are among the culinary specialties that are a must on a trip to Colombia.
Unlike other Latin American countries that tend to make them with wheat flour and bake them in the oven, Colombian empanadas are made from corn flour and fried in oil.
Garnished with potatoes, minced meat or hogao sauce, they can be eaten as a snack, aperitif or starter! Season them with pepper and coriander, add lemon and dip them in a hot sauce for the most explosive taste experience of your trip to Colombia!