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Delicious and exotic fruits and vegetables are in abundance from the fertile lands. Different flavors and styles vary like the variety of Colombian regional cultures and locations.
Caribbean, pacific, mountainous, indigenous, traditional and international food is found everywhere from small typical villages and towns to thriving metropolis cities, including gastronomic fairs and festivals in most major cities.
The sea and rivers bring delicious seafood, and of course some of the best coffee in the world comes from our beautiful Colombia!
The Andes Mountain ranges offer in many regions incredible hearty Colombian meals.
Typical food from the earth is corn, beans, potatoes, plantains, yucca, rice and avocados, which make up delicious soups and dishes, such as the typical Sancocho or Ajiaco Santafereño soup, or try some meat, and typical Colombian sausages like the Chorizo or Morcilla (Blood sausage), with a typical meal of Bandeja paisa; rice, beans, avocado, chorizo, ground beef, fried plátano (large cooking banana), fried egg and fried fat called Chicharrón.
Typical Colombian breakfasts consist of eggs such as scrambled with onion, tomato and cheese, accompanied with Arepas (corn meal made into dough and fried with a selection of cheese or an egg inside) washed down with a typical Colombian treat of rich, delicious hot chocolate with which Colombians love to dip fresh farmer’s cheese inside.
Found anywhere, the famous Empanadas are delicious pastry bites filled with meat, potato, egg and sometimes peas, and then fried or cooked.
You can pick up an empanada off street corners or restaurants, such as Empanadas de Pipian, a restaurant serving Empanadas typical of the Cauca department that are stuffed with a special type of yellow potato and peanuts.
Empanadas are served with a salsa called Aji (made of cilantro, green peppers and lemon juice and spices) or sliced lemon wedges.
One of the most popular dishes in Colombia and found in most regions is Patacones, Platano flattened and fried in oil and served with hogao (salsa made of tomato, onion and cheese and simply delicious!)
In the Santander department you can dare to try the local specialties of Hormigas culonas, lightly fried and salted ants.
Banana leaves provide meals called tamales, steam cooked corn meal with meat wrapped inside the leaves and cooked.
Heading to the coast you can test your taste buds with both Caribbean and Pacific flare, a mix of afro-Colombian and indigenous fusions.
A large quantity of the meals are made of fresh seafood, with some coconut rice, Suero Costeño (coastal style sour cream) and Arepa Huevos (the cornmeal pastry, fried with egg and meat inside typical from the coast)
In the Guajira the specialty is roasted goat, seafood and pumpkin Sancocho.
Down in the depths of the Amazonian jungle you can find a mix of Peruvian and Brazilian influenced meals, but for the daring you can try the Mojojoy worm.
Pork and veal can often be cooked on hot iron rods placed in a bonfire, (more typically in the Eastern plains).
Other popular ways of cooking meat in Colombia is in a typical BBQ which consist of grilling meat, chorizo and salted potatoes and served with guacamole dip.
Popular drinks in Colombia are hands down the anis flavored alcoholic drink Aguardiente or a selection of Colombia’s national beers which always go down smoothly.
For higher altitudes, hot cinnamon and sugar cane drinks aid altitude sickness, and for typical Colombian fizzy drinks, Pony Malta and Colombiana.
Sweet tooth people will go crazy over Arequipe; a caramel syrup typical in Latin America and also known in some Latin countries as Dulce de leche. Bocadillo is a sweet guava jelly fairly firm and can be cut into slices and eaten with cheese.
Pick up an Oblea off the street vendors, a thin wafer sandwich with Arequipe inside, or try some Postre de Natas, some rice pudding made with the skin that forms when boiling milk.
A typical Colombian favorite that can be picked up from any corner store is Chocoramo (chocolate covered cake).
Some popular chain restaurants that will get you hooked whilst travelling around the country is the Hamburger joint El Corral, hearty beef burgers, and salads and Crepes & Waffles, serving sweet and savory crepes, ice creams, waffles and incredible salads and fruit juices.
Crepes & Waffles was formed by a couple of University students that designed this attractive and affordable restaurant and whom seem to hire specifically single working mothers as Chefs and waitresses.
In the metropolis cities you can find a large selection of international foods, such as Asian, Latin, European, Middle Eastern and North American food.
Most cities have certain dining zones where you can find these restaurant selections and hip bars and clubs.
Please ask us at Mantaraya for suggestions on great dining areas in most major Cities!