Colombian food culture is rich and diverse as the different geographic and cultural regions of the country have strongly maintained their culinary identity. Many dishes in Colombia have Spanish influences but it always reflects the people’s great love for their land, suas colheitas e as águas que a rodeiam.
Cultura Food colombiano
Colômbia é banhada por ambos os oceanos Pacífico e Atlântico, derrubado pela Amazon e atravessada pela Cordilheira dos Andes. Isto equivale a uma infinidade de ingredientes para brincar. Cooking traditions are also influenced by the availability of food resources which is why every Colombian has a distinct taste when it comes to their preferred native foods.
Claro, cozinheiros colombianos nunca deixam de adicionar outro elemento para a sua cozinha: aventura. If you’re planning on visiting Colombia, get ready, because you’re going to eat incredibly well. Let’s start off by discussing each region and its most typical dishes.
Colombian Food Regions
The Amazon is all about being wild. When I was little and my parents took me there, we ate snake. Boas are highly valued in the cuisine of the Amazon. You will eat what you can get your hands on there, including turtle which is prepared in what seems like a million ways.
- Turtle skewers
- Piracuru balls
If you have been to Medellin, you have been to Antioquia. If you haven’t been there, you should. The area is fantastic and is one of the safest in Colombia. Antioquia also lays claim to Colombia’s national dish, the Bandeja Paisa. Antioquia produces some of the best coffee (if not the best) in the world, and here no meal will be complete without rice and frijoles.
- bandeja Paisa
- Canon de Cerdo
- Sancocho Paisa
- Chorizo Rice
- Ropa Vieja
The Atlantic Coast has tons of African and Middle Eastern influences. When you think of the Atlantic (Cartagena, Barranquilla, La Guajira, and Santa Marta), think of coconut, snapper, armadillo, iguana, and lobster. Food here is fantastic and some of my favorite in Colombia.
- Stuffed melons
- Stuffed red snapper
- Shrimp Rice
- Chipi-Chipi Rice
- Coconut rice
- Arepa de huevo
Fruits and aromatic spices rule the area that is home to Bogota, the capital city. Cundinamarca is colder than the rest of the country and that means comfort food: ajiaco, hot chocolate (with cheese) tamales, huevos pericos and so much more. This area is my fave, but I think that’s because I was born there.
- Papas Chorriadas
- Sopa de Pan
- Pan de Yuca
Colombia’s plains are a hard environment, its people are nomadic and they were forced to make do. This region offers some gorgeous wild boar, fresh water fish, and wild birds.
- Ternera a la Llanera
If you explore this region, you will most likely end up in Buenaventura, Guapi and Tumaco. The coast is, of course, a place where seafood and shellfish reigns. The region has not just ocean, but also rivers so you get a mixture of both fresh and saltwater fish varieties. There are tons of exotic fruits that are made into refreshing juices. The region is not just fish though, there are plenty of exotic animals that are hunted by locals. Perhaps my favorite thing about the food from this area is the popularity of coconut in dishes.
- Shrimp salad
- Clam rice
- Grilled fish with lulo
Santander has an overabundance of fruit and fish. Meats are scarce in this region. Corn is quite popular here, so if you visit you will most likely try some mazamorra. Another typical snack here is hormigas culonas (that is roasted ants).
- Garbanzo soup
- Goat rice
- Fried yuca
- Pineapple juice
- Rabbit Stew
I lived here for most of my early childhood, so I have very fond memories of the food here. Lechona and tamales Tolimenses (the best tamales in the country) are a must. Fresh water oysters are a delight and ladies will tigger (ask me what this means) after sipping on a few mistelas over a game of cards.
- lechona (you must try this)
- Dulce de Guayaba
Valle del Cauca
Although I am from Cundinamarca, my family has its roots here, so the Cauca Valley owns a piece of my heart. There is always a plantain on your plate in the Valle del Cauca. This area is all about agriculture, so beef and chicken are often on the menu. There are tons of fruits and desserts are outstanding here – manjar blanco is one of the best things you can experience here.
- Pan de Bono
- Ox Tail Stew
- Empanadas (these are the best in Cali)
Things You MUST Eat in Colombia
Tem uma amostragem de um prato colombiano clássico, the ajiaco. A ajiaco é basicamente uma sopa de frango com batatas, milho, abacate e a erva local chamada guascas. É mais prevalente em Bogotá e na região andina. Os ingredientes sozinho pode surpreender muita gente: que põe abacate em sua sopa? Responda: mim. Eu sou colombiano e eu amo o abacate na minha sopa de galinha. Another weird but delicious combo to try…sliced bananas in your chicken soup. simplesmente delicioso. The ajiaco is typically enjoyed with cream and capers. It is also served with white rice, eo prato favorito é a salada com abacate, limão e tostadas.
Quando você acorda em Bogotá e em algum lugar na região Adean, você poderá ver muitos colombianos apreciando seu famoso café colombiano com changua. Changua é uma sopa de leite de ovo decorado cebolinha e emparelhado com pão velho chamado esboço. Se você é curioso o que selecionar é como, simply heat equal amounts of water and milk and then add a dash of salt. Crack an egg and let the yolk cook while it is poached with the water-milk mixture. Pour this into a bowl with Queso Colombiano at the bottom and garnish with scallions and cilantro. Easy, reconfortante e deliciosa.
Quando você finalmente chegar à costa, people are found to have a taste for spice. Interestingly, esta parte da Colômbia experimentou uma onda de imigração árabe, e algumas dicas de culinária árabe pode ser encontrada nessas regiões. Smas is similar to yogurt and sour cream and lots of Colombians eat it. Coconut rice is also a favorite, it is be paired with the popular spicy dish made of pork and whale liver. Arepa, que é uma massa de milho, has its many versions in this part of Colombia. You can find variations with egg (arepa de huevo) e com queijo (queijo arepa).
Quando você vai para a parte oriental do país, you will see many Colombian cowboys and food that are inspired by the cowboy culture. Barbecues are very popular such as the llanera bovino. Os colombianos também adoro todo o seu leitão assado enchido com arroz, legumes e carne de porco a chamada lechonas. Na porção amazônica da Colômbia, expect a strong Amazonian cuisine tradition as well. This means dishes made of freshwater fish, carne de gado.
A Colômbia é também o lar do famoso tamales, the delicacy Tolimenses originating from the Tolima region. The plantain leaves, que são fervidas durante três a quatro horas, são recheados com massa de milho, arroz, Porco, chicken, batatas, cenouras, ervilhas e muitas especiarias.
You can get more adventurous with food in Colombia as you explore the many tropical fruits that the country is rich in. You will not get enough of the different types of bananas in the country and the wide range of sweet tropical fruits such as mangoes, goiabas, apples, pears, e outros. Mas é claro, antes de sair para uma viagem culinária colombiana, começar o dia fora com no local, galeria com uma xícara de seu café, que é considerado como um dos mais destacados no mundo inteiro.
Have questions about Colombian Food Culture? Just ask me in the comments!