Colombia is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world; with more than 500 types of fruits, cereals, vegetables and ingredients used in their local dishes. Making it one of the most elaborated and colorful cuisines in the region. Dive into the most delicious and underrated preparations from the South American country!
Colombia, a vibrant and diverse South American nation, is often praised for its stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and warm hospitality. However, its culinary treasures remain relatively unknown to the wider world. Beyond the famous empanadas and arepas, Colombia boasts a hidden cuisine waiting to be discovered. Embark on a culinary adventure with us as we explore the lesser-known yet delicious dishes that make up the heart of Colombian gastronomy.
Off course when we talk about Colombia we immediately think about key ingredients known worldwide like coffee, coconut and beans, but did you know that Colombia is the most biodiverse country per square meter in the world with more than 300 different ecosystems?
Colombian cuisine is a delightful fusion of indigenous, European, African, and Middle Eastern influences, thanks to its diverse history of colonization and migration. Each region of Colombia proudly offers a unique array of dishes that reflect its distinct cultural and geographical characteristics. Colombia is located in a very privilege area in the northern region of the South American continent with access to both the pacific and Caribbean sea. Each one of this ecosystems is characterized for producing a big range of ingredients, from fruits and vegetables to cereals and tubers that make each one of their dishes very special.
Have you heard of Bandeja Paisa? Sancocho? Or the world famous soup Ajiaco?
In the following article we will select and talk about some of the most interesting and more underrated ingredients used in the South American cuisine that you should try as soon as possible.
Lets begin this culinary journey with plantains. Colombians love plantains and eat them every day baked and roasted, sweet and savory. They form a vital part of national dishes including Bandeja Paisa, where plantains are served alongside different types of proteins and carbs.
Bandeja Paisa is one of the most intriguing yet complicated dishes in their local cuisine, representing the Andean region with some of the most authentic ingredients. It’s prepared with over 10 ingredients with the main purpose of mixing all of them together in one big plate, this usually includes: Red beans, white rice, pork rinds, powdered meat, chorizo, fried egg, ripe banana, avocado, tomatoes, carrots, parsley and off course arepa. Its a lot of food for one person so remember to be hungry before ordering it. Once you have mixed all this ingredients you can expect an explosion of flavors.
Lets continue with one less known but amazingly versatile ingredient, the cassava, known as yuca in Spanish, a root vegetable eaten both sweet and savory. Bollo de yuca is a mix ground cassava with aniseed and coconut to make delicious street snacks. But cassava’s most well-known use is in sancocho, a family-sized meat and vegetable stew that every family in Colombia have tasted.
Moving on to the sweet cuisine, we need to talk about Guavas. Colombia is famous for many tropical and delicious fruits used in all types of desserts and pastries, but somehow guava is its most popular fruit ingredient. Guava paste is used in everything from sweets, doughnut fillings and plantain pie to snacks like bocadillo con queso, where it is served wrapped in plantain leaves and eaten with cheese, definitely one of our top favorite ingredients to try.
Get out of your comfort zone with this exquisite and diverse ingredients that will for sure surprise and make your tastebuds dance immediately.