13 Must-Try Traditional Colombian Foods

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11 Responses

  1. wally says:

    Honestly, I have to say I don’t understand why you are touting most of these foods other than simply promoting “getting to know Colombia.” I mean, hot chocolate with cheese in it? Yuck. Lechona?…really?…40% meat and 60% greasy fat…same for Bandeja Paisa…yuck. Empandas? A tiny bit of meat, lots of rice, and dripping with grease? No, mi amor – try a Jamaican patty or Belizean version to know what “an empanada” should really be like (baked, for starters). Same for tamales…corn meal stuffed with big pieces of greasy fat (because Colombians actually think *fat* is *food* – a little bony, dark meat chicken, and not much else. Aguardientet? Sugary, licorice-flavored liquor is disgusting whether it’s Ouzo, Pernod, Sambuco, or Aguardiente. Juices and fruits from the street? After 3 vicious bouts of dysentery, my doctor told me “Never – never eat anything from the street…and never drink tap water anymore.” Bandeja paisa? Fried fat (chicharron), white rice potatoes, greasy sausage, greasy ground meat…etc…why would you recommend eathing food that puts you into a coma. So that leaves, what?…bunuelos, arepas, and ajijaco – not the worst of foods, at times, pretty good. But all that other stuff…I say try it once to be nice to your Colombian friends, then never again – try to eat food that won’t give you chronic heart disease or diabetes, like many, many Colombians have from eating this way. Sorry, I really don’t like Colombian “comida tipica,” and if you read the ex-pat forums, you’ll find that neither do most folks – mainly Colombians, because they are somewhat obsessively tied to “tradition,” and it’s almost all that’s available.

  2. Alan Bowman says:

    Note: Hot chocolate MUST be made with proper chocolate not cocoa powder (as I saw in an American recipe recently- YUK!).
    Hot chocolate with Mozzarela cheese? Never, it has to be queso campesino (squeaky cheese – we have something similar here in Spain – fresh goats’ cheese.)
    Frijoles Antioqueño
    Chicharónes especially the deep fried ones from beside the road in Chía
    Fruit salad – mixed fresh fruit with cheese.
    Trucha a la plancha de Aquitania, freshly caught in Laguna de Tota
    Arroz con leche with canela and pasas

  3. Charity says:

    I LOVE Colombian comeda!! I am not Colombian myself and I was only exposed to it 18 months ago, but once I tried it, it was like love at first bite. Where have you been my whole life!! ?
    I’m obsessed. I cannot wait to visit Colombia and go on a food tour. All the foods you’ve listed plus ones you haven’t. Thank you for this list though, I’ll be using it as a reference guide for my tummy travels!
    Cheers!

  4. Anne Burton says:

    Nice article for friends overseas to have a look at. Must say though the best empanadas are 1) Empanadas de la 59 and 2)Empanadas de Pipian. I feel I can say that because I have been here for 38 years. Also, I didn’t see mentioned Casa Vieja which is an excellent, old established, typical food restaurant chain. Always good and all over the city. Glad you didn’t mention Postre de Natas, there is no pretty description of this in English. I had to translate the menu at our University high-class restaurant, I limited myself to just saying “a cold, sweet milk pudding”. Thanks for the article.

    • bogotastic says:

      Thanks Anne for the recommendation! Actually I do mention Postre de Natas in an upcoming article, just not as a MUST to try 😉

  5. Ric Dragon says:

    OK, as a vegetariano, I’m having great fun finding the vegetarian versions of these things. So far, I’m astounded by the quantity and quality of the vegetarian food I’ve been finding. And for me, happiness is a dish of huevos pericos con un arepa, hugo, y cafe.

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