Fruits and Juices
Colombian cuisine is perhaps best known for its spectacular variety of fruits--many of which make delicious juices, and some of which can´t be found anywhere else.
Here are two shot I was able to take at the grocery store before I was politely informed that taking pictures of the food is not permitted (didn´t really get an explanation of why, but wasn´t going to push my luck).
In this picture, going clockwise from the top left, we have maracuya (yellow, aka passion fruit), granadilla (orange), something I can´t read from my notes, papyuala, lulo (orange), and higo.
Clockwise from the top left in this picture, we have tomate de arbol (red), guayaba (green), curambola (green) on the right and more tomate de arbol (orange) on the left, feijoa, curuba, and more guayaba.
Here is some beautiful papaya:
This is juice from lulo, served to me by the Aristizabals.
This is the curuba fruit, found only in Colombia. I was using it to make juice at the EcoVillage.
This is ajiaco, the specialty soup of the Bogota region. It is made with chicken, corn, and potatoes and served with capers and cream. The Aristizabal family provided this treat for me, which was absolutely delicious.
This is bandeja paisa, the typical dish of the Medellin region. It is made with rice, beans, fried pork, a fried egg, and served with fried plantain. I actually didn´t like this too much.
This is a typical breakfast of the Medellin region, called paisa calentado. As you can see, it´s plenty to fill you up ion the morning--eggs, rice, beans, sausage, cheese, and two types of bread.
This is called huevos pericos, and it´s a scrambled egg breakfast served by the Aristizabal family.
This is a breakfast tamale served to us on the train on the way to the Catedral de Sal.
These rolls are called almohabana, and they are extremely buttery and delicious when eaten hot.
Street Food/Fast Food
I was riding on a bus in Bogota when I saw this out of the window. It looked so enticing, I had to backtrack and find the store.
Here´s what the actual food looked like. I was a bit disappointed because there was lots of rice and not as much freshly cut pork as I´d hoped. But, what the hell, it still came from inside a whole pig.
OK, this is probably the most truly ¨typical¨ food around. Throughout most of Latin America, roasted chicken on a spit (what we´d call ¨rotisserie¨) is wildly popular. You can get it almost anywhere. Fried chicken is a close second in popularity.
I don´t know how typical these things are, but they were awesome. They´re called torta choclo con queso, or basically a fried corn cake with cheese in the middle. I got one of these for breakfast in Medellin and it was incredibly tasty and filled me up for hours (for something like 50 cents).
Seafood is very popular throughout Colombia, especially the coastal region. Throughout my stay I enjoyed extremely tasty fried fish (often talapia, but various kinds).
This fish is called sierra and it came as part of a typical lunch, which I enjoyed with Marcela´s parents in the town of Chia outside of Bogota. The lunch started with ajiaco and came, as you can see, with rice and salad on the side. Interestingly, many Colombians do not drink anything with their food. They will eat their entire meal and then sip a drink afterwards.
This was one of my favorite meals in Colombia. It is a shrimp ceviche--cooked shrimp mixed with mayonaise, ketchup, onion relish, and served with crackers. This cup cost $3 right outside the walled city in Cartagena, and was enough to fill me up.
Finally, here´s a shot of a simple fried fish meal that I enjoyed often during my stay. This one was from my adventure with Carlos outside of Medellin, and I´m pretty sure it was talapia. The best fried fish meal I had actually came on Playa Blanca, but I neglected to take a picture of that one. Sorry for letting down my demanding fans.
At the EcoVillage
While spending time with my friend at Aldeafeliz, the EcoVillage outide of Bogota, I enjoyed many meals and snacks with the residents.
This is a typical ¨calentao de frijoles con patacones y ensalada.¨And, here are a couple of snacks. On top are chicharones, or friend chicken skin. Below is jalea de guayaba con queso (guava jelly with cheese).
Fancy Dinner at Andres Carne de Res
Avid readers will remember the culmination of my last, charmed, day in Bogota at Andres Carne de Res--where a drunk man bought my friend Mafe and I dinner. Well, here´s what we ate.
I had--what else at a place called carne de res--steak. It came undercooked in the midde but on a sizzling pan so I could sear it to my taste (slightly less undercooked). Perfect.
Mafe is a vegetarian, so she this nice italian fried cheese dish. I can´t remember what it´s called, but it was delicous.
Finally, it´s always important to leave room for dessert. I didn´t do that much searching for typical desserts, but Marcela´s parents introduced me to some when they took me out to lunch. After dining in Chia, we stopped at a dessert place in their hometown of Cota.
Clockwise from the top we have tiramisu de cafe, leche asada, and torta de tres leches (with a dulce de leche-type sauce). My favorite was the leche asada, which basically means grilled milk.