Colombia is a country with a long history. Before the arrival of Christopher Columbus, there lived a lot of Indian tribes, later settled Spanish conquistadors, and then - immigrants from Asia and Africa. Multinationality could not but affect the development of the cuisine of Colombia, which took on many culinary traditions of different peoples. Today, it surprises tourists with bright tastes and original dishes, which combine incompatible, it would seem, ingredients.
Main Features of Colombian Cuisine
Potatoes, beans, rice, corn, poultry and pork are the main products. Due to the fact that the country is washed by two oceans, in the kitchen of Colombia, seafood is also widely used. River and sea fish are popular here.
Interesting and regional features of food in Colombia:
- Andes - rich soups and thick soup, hearty meat dishes;
- southern regions - river fish, exotic fruits, porridge;
- the coast of the Pacific Ocean - dishes of bananas, coconuts, an abundance of seafood;
- Caribbean coast - a variety of seafood and fish, freshly squeezed juices.
10 dishes you should definitely try in Colombia
The local dishes can be liked or liked by someone, but it is impossible to remain indifferent to them. In Colombia you will not find fresh and tasteless dishes - the food here is very bright, richly flavored with sauces and spices. No tourist can not ignore these dishes:
- Bandeja Pais. Pieces of meat, fish or chicken are served with a side dish of beans, rice, potatoes, avocados and fried bananas. The taste is quite exotic. You can order this dish in any restaurant that serves national dishes of Colombia.
- Casuela. This stewed vegetables with the addition of cereals, meat or seafood. The name of the dish came from pottery, in which it is cooked, and then served.
- Lechon. This dish is from a piglet, baked entirely and stuffed with vegetables, peas and rice.
- Ahiko. This soup is made of bird meat, cooked with yucca and potatoes. It is present in the menu of many restaurants and cafes, where it is served for lunch. Other popular soups include mazamorro (from meat and beans), ajaco santafereno (milk with vegetables) and sancoch de galina (light chicken soup).
- Seviche. This dish "came" to Colombia from Peru , where it is very popular. It's a raw fish marinated in lime juice. In marinade usually added hot pepper and spices, and fish is often replaced with seafood. In the historic homeland, Ceviche is served with corn and sweet potatoes, but the Colombians consider it an independent dish.
- Arepa. A flat cake from corn flour, which is baked on fire. The fillings at the arep are different, and you can try it anywhere where you sell street food. Serve this cake, replacing the Colombians with bread, in all restaurants.
- Papas-Chorreadas. Among the roasted potatoes, the popularity is dominated by the dish, in which tomatoes, greens and cheese are also added.
- Empanadas. These are popular in all of South America pies with a variety of fillings.
- Cabaños. Spicy sausages, fried over an open fire, slightly sharp and very tasty.
- Ahi. The original taste of salad, which includes chili, vinegar and several kinds of various spices. This dish will appeal only to those who love spicy and have no problems with digestion. Like Colombians and other salads with vegetables, meat and seafood.
Colombia is a land of eternal summer, and fruits are very popular here. When coming here for the first time, tourists celebrate many kinds of exotic fruits, even whose names are unknown to us, not to mention tastes.
As a rule, most of the local fruits are not used for food, because they are very acidic, and for the preparation of refreshing fresh. Freshly squeezed juice can be bought on the street of any major city for only $ 1.
Among the most popular fruits among tourists it should be noted:
- mango - its fruits are soft yellow (for desserts, sauces and juices) and solid green (they are eaten with salt);
- avocado - used to make many traditional dishes, and the pulp of overripe fruit smears on the bread;
- platan - reminds a green solid banana, from which fried and baked dishes are made;
- papaya - from this fruit you get very tasty juices;
- guava - the tender flesh of this fruit, reminiscent of a mixture of peach and pear, from which make juices, cocktails, marmalade or just eat fresh;
- lulo - grows only in Colombia and is very acidic, so it mainly prepares lemonades;
- tomato de arbol - the famous "tomato tree", the sour fruit of which goes to the preparation of juices.
Among the alcohol, the local rum and liqueur with taste of anise - aguardiente - is very popular with tourists. Wine in Colombia is not very good quality, but beer is in demand, especially Aguila, Dorado and Club. Spirits laws of Colombia are allowed to be consumed from the age of 18.
Tea from coca leaves is a very popular drink here. Contrary to popular belief, it has no narcotic effect, but simply invigorates, tones up and helps to transfer the period of adaptation, especially in high-altitude areas.
Fragrant coffee and delicious hot chocolate are the main drinks for any Colombian. They are in demand also among tourists who take coffee beans and cocoa beans home as delicious souvenirs .
Desserts and sweets
Colombians love sweets as much as other nations, and they use the gifts that are given to them for the preparation of desserts. Tourists appreciate how delicious the following dishes are:
- arros-kon-koko - rice boiled in coconut milk;
- manhar-blanco - sweet food with vanilla taste from eggs, sugar, cinnamon and milk;
- Bunuelos - fried in oil cheese balls;
- maria-luisa - tender apple pie;
- Bocadillo - delicious guava paste, which has a sweet taste;
- tentacion - fried bananas seasoned with cinnamon, vanilla and sugar.
What you need to know about nutrition in Colombia?
Enjoy a bright taste of Colombian dishes is best in gourmet restaurants, where the cost of dinner starts at $ 30 per person. Here you can be sure of freshness and decent cooking conditions. In addition to the cuisine of Colombia, Argentinean and European dishes are popular in the country's cities. If you want, you can find sushi bars, wok dishes and pan-American cuisine.
Most tourists eat in medium-price establishments. You should know that breakfast in Colombia is very hearty, and lunch includes 3 meals plus drinks. Dinner will cost about $ 10. As for tips, 1-2 thousand pesos are usually added to the check. The choice of street food is also huge: inexpensive pies and burgers, traditional arepa and ceviche. Juices should only be bought by those that are squeezed out of fruit in your presence.