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Ajiaco is one of the city's most representative dishes in Bogotá, Colombia

Ajiaco (Spanish pronunciation: [aˈxjako]) is a soup common to [1] Colombia and Cuba.[2] The origin of the dish has been debated among scholars. In Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, the dish is popular and is typically made with chicken, three varieties of potatoes, and the Galinsoga parviflora herb. In Cuba it is prepared as a stew, and in Peru the dish is prepared with unique variations.


The exact origin of this dish has been debated by scholars.[1] In his book Lexicografia Antillana, former president of Cuba Alfredo Zayas y Alfonso stated that the word "ajiaco" derived from "aji", the native Taíno word for "hot pepper."[3] Cuban ethnologist Fernando Ortiz stated that ajiaco was a meal typical of the Taíno, and was an appropriate metaphor for Cuba being a melting pot.[3] In the Cuban city of Camagüey, the San Juan festival begins with the making and serving of ajiaco.[4] La Calle magazine of Cuba stated that the inhabitants of the village of Santa María de Puerto del Príncipe began the tradition of making ajiaco using their own cooking ingredients, donations from passersby, surplus from farmers, and surplus slave provisions.[4] Ajiaco is believed to have become popular in Cuba during the 16th century, particularly among rural Cubans, although it was occasionally enjoyed by the upper class.[5]


Ajiaco in Bogotá, Colombia


In the Colombian capital of Bogotá, ajiaco is a popular dish typically made with chicken, three varieties of potatoes, and the Galinsoga parviflora herb, commonly referred to in Colombia as guasca and in the U.S., where it is considered a weed, as gallant soldier.[6][7]


In Cuba, ajiaco is a hearty stew made from beef, pork, chicken, vegetables, and a variety of starchy roots and tubers classified as viandas.[1][8]


In Peru, ajiaco is a quite different dish of potatoes cooked with garlic, a mix of dried yellow and red chilies (aji mirasol and aji panca), hierba buena, and huacatay, generally accompanied by rice and stewed chicken or rabbit.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Cuban Ajiaco Recipe". Tasteofcuba.com. Retrieved 2014-06-03. 
  2. ^ Clark, Melissa (October 28, 2011). "From Colombia, the Ultimate One-Pot Meal". The New York Times. Accessed April 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Ajiaco cobrero" (in Spanish). Ecured.cu. Retrieved 2014-06-03. 
  4. ^ a b "El ajiaco de Camagüey". Lacalle.cu. 2013-06-25. Retrieved 2014-06-03. 
  5. ^ Emblematic dish: the ajiaco | Cubanow
  6. ^ "Ajiaco Bogotano (Colombian Chicken and Potato Soup)". Mycolombianrecipes.com. 2009-03-19. Retrieved 2014-06-03. 
  7. ^ Americans just don’t understand the potato. Colombians do. – Eatocracy - CNN.com Blogs
  8. ^ Garth, Hanna. 2013 Food and Identity in the Caribbean. Bloomsbury Press.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Ajiaco at Wikimedia Commons