Culture and Cuisine

The Delicious Cuisine of Colombia

Colombias rich and diverse culture reflects its history and the influence of indigenous, African, and European cultures.

Colombian cuisine is known for its variety of flavors and ingredients, including tropical fruits, seafood, meat, and vegetables.

Colombian cuisine is comprised of the culinary traditions of the six main regions of Colombia – the Caribbean, Pacific, Orinoco, Amazon, Andean, and Insular regions. It varies from region to region and can best be described as a mix of native Colombian, Spanish, and African influences. In some parts of Colombia, you can find a distinct Arab influence as well.

Some of the most popular Colombian dishes include bandeja paisa (a hearty platter of beans, rice, meat, and vegetables), arepas (corn cakes stuffed with various fillings), and empanadas (deep-fried or baked turnovers filled with meat or cheese).

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Fun Fact

The food in Colombia is strongly influenced by local ingredients and the cultural traditions of its ethnic groups, but common ingredients include rice, maize, potato, cassava, and various legumes. Beef, chicken, pork, and goat are commonly consumed proteins as are different types of fish and seafood.

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Traditional Dishes to Look For

Bandeja Paisa

Bandeja Paisa is a traditional Colombian dish from the Andean region of the country. It is a filling and delicious recipe that contains beans, rice, arepa, chorizo, plantain, chicharrĂ³n, avocado and beef.

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Ajiaco is one of the many regional Colombian dishes you can't leave the country without trying. It's a hearty soup made from three different kinds of potatoes (criolla, sabanera and pastusa), chicken, guasca leaves, with a half an ear of corn splashed in for good measure.

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Arepa de Choclo

Arepas de choclo are made with fresh corn in addition to the masarepa, which gives them a sweeter flavor. Queso fresco cheese (similar to farmer's cheese) adds a salty contrast.

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Sancocho de Pollo, a hearty soup almost like a stew, is a traditional dish in the Antioquia region of Colombia that combines potatoes, yuca, corn, plantains, and chicken.

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The Colombian coffee region is blessed with an optimal altitude and climate, a hand-picked harvesting process perfected over generations, and some of the finest beans in the world. The end result is gratifying and stimulating to the palate and senses.

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