An overview off the best local culinary specialties that will not only satisfy you, but will also plunge you into the heart of authentic Colombia

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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.

colombian food gastronomyPin
Colombian Food : Ajiaco

La 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.

Bandeja Paisa Colombia @robconectaPin
Bandeja Paisa Colombia – Photo Credit @robconecta

Sancocho

It is a soup of broth elaborated with chicken, potato, yucca (type of tuber), banana. It is a quite rich soup and very typical in all Colombia.

sancocho colombia gastronomy @cocinandoconpascualPin
sancocho colombia gastronomy @cocinandoconpascual

The tamales

This delicious dish typical of Tolima is made from corn flour dough and as varied as our famous sandwiches, tamales are Native American “papillotes”.

The tamale can also be made with a paste of rice with meat or chicken, chickpeas, carrots and condiments and everything is put to cook the steam wrapped in some banana leaves.

tamal colombia gastronomy @tamalesdeligiaPin
tamal colombia gastronomy @tamalesdeligia
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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.

They can be found on every street corner and each region has its own variation.

Try these little delights with your eyes closed!

Colombia @labarrarestaurantecaliPin
Colombia @labarrarestaurantecali

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!

Empanadas Colombia @saborenlamesaPin
Empanadas Colombia @saborenlamesa

Pastel de pollo

ball-shaped chicken fritters

pastel de pollo colombia @vinniebpresentsPinPin
pastel de pollo colombia @vinniebpresents

Lechona

It is another typical dish of the Tolima region. It consists of a suckling pig (small pork), empty and filled with pork, rice and beef or chicken. It is a pretty good dish and impressive to watch.

lechona colombiana gastronomy @la.delicisaPin
lechona colombiana gastronomy @la.delicisa

Buñuelos

Buñuelos are a traditional Colombian Christmas treat , but they are also popular year round for breakfast with hot chocolate or coffee.

Colombia @AnonymousPin
Buñuelos Colombia

Colombian Coffee

Colombia is the 3rd largest coffee producing country in the world.

On the spot, Colombians drink “tinto” (poor quality coffee) in order to export the best of the production to Europe and North America.

But by visiting the farms and farms in the coffee triangle (Manizales, Armenia and Pereira), you will be able to savour all the richness of the aromas.

Harvest between October and February and from April to June.

Colombia @AnonymousPin
Colombia @Anonymous

Chocolate cup with cheese

In Bogota it is typical to eat chocolate cup but it is much clearer than what is eaten in Europe and it is usually made with water and not milk.

But it is important to know that within the cup it is usual to put cheese, if you want it without cheese it is always better to warn.

Chocolate Con Cheese Colombia @faraway foodiesPin
Chocolate Con Cheese Colombia @faraway foodies

Pastel de pollo

ball-shaped chicken fritters

pastel de pollo colombia @vinniebpresentsPinPin
pastel de pollo colombia @vinniebpresents

Juices

Colombia is a country with a great variety of fruits so it has become very typical to drink juices both on the street and in bars and during meals. 

You can find delicious juices made with water or milk as well as fruit salads with ice cream. 

In Bogota you will see that in the fruit salads they mix them cream of milk and cheese, if the traveler likes this mixture they have to warn the waiters that they want it without cheese or milk.

Aguardiente

Local alcohols are aguardiente (an aniseed liqueur made from sugar cane) and rum.

Desserts

  • Chincha : sweet guava flaky pastry
  • Banana vegetable : fried banana, sweet or salted
  • Salpicon : fruit salad

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