Colombian cuisine includes the cooking traditions and practices of Colombia's Caribbean shoreline, Pacific coast, mountains, jungle, and ranchlands. Colombian cuisine varies regionally and is influenced by indigenous, Spanish, African, Arab and some Asian influences. Colombian coffee is renowned for its high quality.
- 1 Regional cuisines
- 2 Dishes and foods
- 3 Appetizers and side dishes
- 4 Breads
- 5 Main courses
- 6 Beverages
- 7 Fruits
- 8 Desserts and sweets
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Colombia's varied cuisine is influenced by its diverse fauna and flora as well as the cultural traditions of its immigrants. Colombian dishes and ingredients vary widely by region. Some of the most common ingredients are: cereals such as rice and maize; tubers such as potato and cassava; assorted legumes; meats, including beef, chicken, pork and goat; fish; and seafood. Colombia cuisine also features a variety of tropical fruits such as cape gooseberry, feijoa, arazá, dragon fruit, mangostino, granadilla, papaya, guava, mora (blackberry), lulo, soursop and passionfruit.
Among the most representative appetizers and soups are patacones (fried green plantains), sancocho de gallina (chicken soup with root vegetables) and ajiaco (potato and corn soup). Representative snacks and breads are pandebono, arepas (corn cakes), aborrajados (fried sweet plantains with cheese), torta de choclo, empanadas and almojábanas. Representative main courses are bandeja paisa, lechona tolimense, mamona, tamales and fish dishes (such as arroz de lisa), especially in coastal regions where suero, costeño cheese, kibbeh and carimañolas are also eaten. Representative side dishes are papas criollas al horno (roasted Andean potatoes), papas chorreadas (potatoes with cheese) and arroz con coco (coconut rice). Organic food is a current trend in big cities, although in general across the country the fruits and veggies are very natural and fresh.
Representative desserts are buñuelos, natillas, torta Maria Luisa, bocadillo made of guayaba (guava jelly), cocadas (coconut balls), casquitos de guayaba (candied guava peels), torta de natas, obleas, flan de arequipe, roscón, milhoja, and the tres leches cake (a sponge cake soaked in milk, covered in whipped cream, then served with condensed milk). Typical sauces (salsas) are hogao (tomato and onion sauce) and Colombian-style ají.
Some representative beverages are coffee (Tinto), champús, cholado, lulada, avena colombiana, sugarcane juice, aguapanela, aguardiente, hot chocolate and fresh fruit juices (often made with sugar and water or milk).
There is a large variety of dishes that take into account the difference in regional climates. For example:
- In the city of Medellín, the typical dish is the bandeja paisa. It includes beans, rice, ground meat or carne asada, chorizo, fried egg, arepa, and chicharrón. It is usually accompanied by avocado, tomato, and special sauces.
- In the city of Cali, the most traditional dish is "sancocho de gallina" - a soup composed mostly of chicken, plantain, corn, coriander, yuca root, and other seasonings.
- In Bogotá and the Andean region, ajiaco is the traditional dish. It is also a type of soup made of chicken, potatoes, and flavoured with a locally grown herb called "guasca". Traditionally, cream and capers are added just before eating. Both soups are served with white rice, salads with a hint of lemon, avocado, or plantain chips, sweet or salty. For breakfast people often eat changua, a milk, scallion, and egg soup.
- In the Caribbean coast, spicy cooking, with fish and lobster, is practiced. Coconut rice is a common dish along the coastal cities.
- In the Llanos, meat from the barbecue, such as the "ternera llanera" is common, and also typical river fishes like the "amarillo".
- In the Amazonas, the cuisine is influenced by Brazilian and Peruvian traditions.
Inland, the dishes reflect the mix of cultures, inherited mainly from Amerindian and European cuisine, and the produce of the land mainly agriculture, cattle, river fishing, and other animals' raising. Such is the case of the sancocho soup in Valledupar, the arepas (a corn based bread-like patty). Local species of animals like the guaratinaja, part of the wayuu Amerindian culture.
- In the Tolima region, the Tamales Tolimenses are a delicacy. These tamales are made of a corn dough and feature peas, carrots, potatoes, rice, chicken, pork, and various spices. They are wrapped in plantain leaves and boiled for three to four hours. Pandebono for breakfast with hot chocolate.
- On the Islands of San Andres, Providencia, and Santa Catalina, the main dish is rondon, a seafood dish made of coconut milk, fish, conch, cassava root (yuca), sweet potato, white yams, and pumpkin seasoned with chili peppers and herbs. They also have a crab soup which is considered a delicacy. It is made with the same ingredients as rondon, without the fish.
- Ají picante, a spicy, cilantro-based sauce, is used as a condiment for many dishes and sides, including empanadas, platacones, and soups. This traditional sauce is from the city of Antioquia,
Dishes and foods
Fruit and juice stands are found across Colombia, particularly on the Caribbean coast.
Colombia is home to numerous tropical fruits and rarely found elsewhere. There are several varieties of bananas including a very small, sweet version. Others include zapote (Quararibea cordata), nispero[disambiguation needed] (Manilkara achras) lulo (Solanum quitoense), uchuva (Physalis peruviana), passion fruit, borojó (Borojoa patinoi), curuba (Passiflora tarminiana), mamoncillo (Melicoccus bijugatus), guanábana (Annona muricata), guava (Psidium guajava), tomate de arbol (tamarillo), noni (Morinda citrifolia), mango, apple, pear, blackberry, strawberry and many others.
Ajiaco is a traditional Andean dish that originated from Bogotá. It is a chicken, corn, and potato stew with a hint of guasca (Gallant Soldiers), a local herb. sancocho is a traditional dish that originated in the north coast. It is made with any kind of meat along with corn, potato, yuca, plantain and local spices that are cooked together to form a soup. Bandeja Paisa originates from Antioquia and is assembled with several foods making necessary to use a platter (Bandeja in Spanish, hence the name). It is made of beans, rice, fried eggs, chorizo, pork rind and other ingredients depending on the location. Tamales are corn “cakes” wrapped in a corn husk and steamed. They can be filled with everything from chicken, potatoes, peas, carrots, to rice. The tamales vary in shape and fillings in each region, and almost every region has its own variation. Some well known variations are from Tolima, Santander, Cúcuta, Bogotá and Valle del Cauca; just to name a few. Fritanga is another popular Colombian dish made of meats, fried plantains, chicharrones, and yellow potatoes with aji sauce eaten throughout Colombia. It is often shared with friends and family.
Changua (milk soup with eggs) is a typical breakfast soup of the central Andes region of Colombia, in particular in the Boyacá and Cundinamarca area, including the capital, Bogotá. The dish has Chibcha origins. Caldo de costilla (Spanish for rib broth) is a dish typical of Colombian cuisine, from the Andean region. It is made mainly from beef ribs boiled in water with slices of potato, some garlic, onion and cilantro leaves.
Other Colombian dishes include
Appetizers and side dishes
- Aborrajado (deep fried plantains stuffed with cheese)
- Arroz con coco, rice with coconut
- Hormigas culonas (roasted ants) a santandereanas (food from Colombia's Santander Department)
- Carimañola, yuca fritter stufed with ground meat, onion and seasonings
- Chunchullo, intestine
- Hogao (Criollo sauce)
- Suero, a topping similar to sour cream
- Queso blanco (white cheese) also referred to as queso fresco
- Butifarras soledeñas, Soledeña sausage (sausage from Soledad, Atlántico)
- Bollos (tubes of ground maize -similar to Italian polenta- or from scratched mandioc -yuca-, served with coastal cheese and sometimes whey or butter)
- Achira biscuits
- Carimañolas (like empanadas but made up of manioc)
- Colombina (lollipop)
- Curd biscuits
- Garullas (corn bread roll)
- Pan de sagú (sago bread)
- Pan de Maíz (cornbread)
- Pan de queso
- Pan de yuca (baked cheese bread made with yuca flour)
- Roscón (a soft and sweet bagel filled with either dulce de leche or guava jam)
Varieties of arepa
- Arepa Boyacense
- Arepa de arroz
- Arepas de huevo
- Arepa de maiz
- Arepa de queso
- Arepa de yuca
- Arepa ocañera
- Arepa Paisa/Antioqueña
- Arepa Santandereana
- Arepa Valluna
- Arepas de choclo (sweet corn)
- Brown rice and sesame seed arepa
- 'Oreja de perro', rice arepas
- Asado Bogotano
- Bandeja Paisa, a traditional dish from the Paisa region, consists of white rice, red beans, ground beef, plantain, chorizo, morcilla, chicharron, arepa, avocado and a fried egg. Along with Ajiaco, the bandeja paisa is considered to be one of the national dishes.
- Changua, a milk soup with or without a poached egg, usually a breakfast dish.
- Cuchuco, a thick soup made of wheat, fava beans, potatoes, ribs, peas, from Boyacá.
- Lechona, traditional dish from the Tolima department, a mixture of yellow pea purée and pork meat, with a side of rice arepa 'oreja de perro' and corn 'insulzo'
- Mondongo, a thick tripe soup.
- Picada Colombiano, chopped specialties served as a combo platter.
- Sancocho, is a popular soup originating from the Valle del Cauca region. It combines vegetables and poultry or fish with recipes differing from one region to the other, but usually contains yuca, maize, and is frequently eaten with banana slices.
- Aguapanela is made by dissolving panela (a kind of sugarloaf) in water. Lime juice may be added for flavor. It can be served cold or hot, when hot is common for Colombians to put cheese in their aguapanela for it to melt.
- Champús is a thick drink made from corn, pineapple, lulo, and other ingredients.
- Chicha is a formerly forbidden strong alcoholic beverage originally made by the indigenous peoples of the Andes. It can be prepared from virtually everything, but is typically made from corn.
- Hot chocolate, Colombian hot chocolate is made with milk, water, and bars of semi-sweet chocolate. A special metal pitcher is used for heating and pouring, and a utensil called a molinillo – essentially a stick with paddles at the end – is used for stirring and frothing. Colombian hot chocolate often includes cinnamon.
- Colombia is also known worldwide for its exquisite coffee, which is considered to have a distinct flavor.
- Colombiana, a kola champagne soda with particular and different taste. (genericized trademark)
- Guandiolo is an Afrocolombian drink made with Borojo fruit that has alleged aphrodisiac properties.
- Lulada is a drink originating from Cali. It is prepared from lulo and has the texture and consistency of a smoothie.
- Malta: Carbonated malt non-alcoholic beverage (genericized trademark).
- Refajo is a beverage made by mixing Kola Hipinto (in santanderian region), Colombiana (in cities like Bogota) or Kola Roman (in the Caribbean region), with beer or rum.
- Salpicón (which literally means large splash) made from diced fruit and soda, usually Colombiana or any Kola flavored soda. It can also be a fruit cocktail beverage (often made with watermelon).
- Roasted ants are found in the gastronomy of Santander
- Aguardiente is an alcoholic drink derived from sugarcane. It is widely consumed at Colombian parties, and ranges in potency from 20% to 40%. Aguardiente is a variation of the Spanish alcoholic drink.
- Biche is an alcoholic drink of afrocolombians made up with unripe sugarcane.
- Canelazo is an alcoholic version of aguapanela mixed with cinnamon and aguardiente. Sugar is rubbed on the edges of the glass when served.
- Guarapo is made from various fruits kept in a large ceramic jar and left to ferment for about 2 months. Within that time, panela is added into the liquid to make the alcohol stronger. Grapes and pineapple are typically used. Guarapo is very similar to Chicha.
- Masato: Made from rice, maize or another ingredients, with smooth ferment.
- Sabajón, a sweet and creamy alcoholic drink from the Cordillera Oriental. It is made from eggs and milk with added flavors and juice of fruits and liqueur on half or less concentration.
Being a tropical country, Colombia produces a large variety of fruits, such as:
- Aiphanes horrida (corozo)
- Bactris gasipaes, peach-palm (chontaduro)
- Banana passionfruit (curuba)
- Banana (banano)
- Borojoa patinoi (borojó)
- Carambola, starfruit (carambolo)
- Cherimoya (chirimoya)
- Feijoa, Pineapple guava
- Guayabamanzana, Guava-apple hybrid
- Inga edulis, ice-cream-bean (guama)
- Loquat (níspero)
- Lulo (Naranjilla)
- Mamey sapote (mamey)
- Mamoncillo, Spanish lime
- Mandarin orange (mandarina)
- Murrapos, mini-bananas
- Orange (naranja)
- Passiflora edulis, passion fruit (maracuyá)
- Physalis peruviana, Cape gooseberry (uchuva)
- Pitaya, Dragon fruit (pitahaya)
- Quararibea cordata (zapote)
- Rubus glaucus, similar to blackberry (mora)
- Soursop (guanábana)
- Strawberry guava (arazá)
- Strawberry (fresa)
- Sugar-apple (anón)
- Sweet granadilla (granadilla)
- Syzygium jambos, Malabar plum (pomarrosa)
- Tree tomato, tamarillo (tomate de árbol)
Desserts and sweets
- Arequipe (Colombia's version of the Dulce de Leche, a milk caramel.)
- Bocadillo de guayaba
- Leche asada
- Manjarblanco is thicker version of Arequipe.
- Postre De Natas (Cream dessert)
- Arroz con leche (Sweetened rice with milk)
- Torta Maria Luisa
- "Colombian culture and contributions to culture". Mundolatino.com. Retrieved 2011-02-17.
- "Culture of Colombia". Advameg, inc. Retrieved 2011-02-17.
- "Typical Colombian Food". Retrieved 30 October 2013.
- "Colombian Food: Variety, Tradition and Nature Fruits". going2colombia.com. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
- "Colombian Food; A List of Traditional and Modern Colombian Recipes". southamericanfood.about.com. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
- "Colombian desserts". uncovercolombia.wordpress.com. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
- "10 Colombian Drinks You Must Try Before You Leave". Retrieved 30 October 2013.
- Erica Dinho (2009-02-17). "Fruit Cocktail (Salpicón De Frutas)". My Colombian Recipes. Retrieved 2013-07-11.
- Colombia Travel. "Jugos naturales" (in spanish). Retrieved 11 July 2013.
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