Colombian Meals: 28 Conventional Dishes to strive in Colombia or at house






Latin America is legendary for its scrumptious meals, and Colombia doesn’t disappoint. In reality, sampling Colombian meals is without doubt one of the high causes to go to Colombia. Like its nation, Colombian delicacies is various and thrilling.

You might spot the odd Caribbean meals or Peruvian dish in these 28 finest dishes – Colombian delicacies is massively influenced by its surrounding areas and colonial historical past. The nation is break up into six areas, every of which has its personal regional specialties as nicely. Do not forget that there are regional variations when touring round Colombia’s must-see cities – you don’t wish to miss out on a specialty dish.

28 Conventional Colombian Dishes

Traditional Colombian Dishes

Able to discover the very best Colombian meals? Whether or not you wish to strive some Colombian delicacies at house or are visiting Colombia and are excited to strive native dishes, this information will introduce you to the very best. We’ll cowl the whole lot, from Empanadas to Frijoles Rojos. Let’s dive straight in.

1. Colombian Empanadas

colombian food embanadas

Colombian empanadas have been a favourite dish since colonial instances. Its look is very similar to a Cornish pasty, and the pastry is folded over with a filling inside. It’s straightforward to identify with its attribute semi-circle form and pinched edge.

You’ll discover floor meat, potatoes, cheese, and hogao (tomato salsa sauce) inside. In fact, there are some recipe variations – particularly for meat-free variations of the dish. Colombian empanadas are simple to make at house and scrumptious to eat in Colombia. If you’d like a fast, straightforward snack, empanadas are among the finest Colombian dishes.

If you wish to strive an empanada earlier than you journey to Colombia, you possibly can comply with this recipe to make your personal at house.

2. Pandebono

best colombian food Pandebono

The legend behind pandebono is that an Italian baker dwelling in Cali created the bread. When he bought it, he used to stroll the streets shouting ‘pane del buono’ (good bread); the identify caught, and the bread grew to become probably the most common Colombian meals.

So, what’s it precisely? The bread can also be nicknamed Colombian cheese bread, which ought to offer you a very good trace. It’s made with melted cheese, yuca flour, and eggs and formed into bagel or ball shapes. You possibly can eat pandebono at breakfast, as road meals, or as a facet at dinner – it’s a versatile dish. Do not forget that it’s best eaten when it’s nonetheless heat out of the oven. Pandebono is a dish meant to be eaten as recent as doable.

To get within the temper in your Colombian travels, make your personal Pandebono at house with this recipe.

3. Bandeja Paisa

traditional colombian dishes bandeja Paisa

Bandeja paisa might be essentially the most iconic Colombian meals on this information. Some even go so far as to name it the nationwide dish. Bandeja paisa is a platter-styled meal with an assortment of meats, a fried egg, white rice, corn, plantain, purple beans, and an avocado. The meats embrace minced beef and chorizo sausage to chicharron. You’ll normally discover an Arepa on the plate, too (extra on that later).

Bandeja paisa is typical of Colombia’s Antioquia area and, like frijoles rojos, was good for staff spending lengthy days within the mountains and on farms. Bandeja paisa packs a nutritious punch and is full of protein and carbohydrates. It stays a well-liked lunch alternative and is one to strive in case you go to Colombia. Make your recipe at house by following this recipe.

4. Frijoles Rojos

colombian cuisine Frijoles Rojos

Frijoles Rojos is a particular Colombian dish that makes use of cargamento beans, additionally referred to as purple beans. This Colombian meals is especially wholesome, and purple beans are an awesome supply of iron, potassium, low-fat protein, and fiber. It’s a stew-like concoction, and the purple beans are blended with tomatoes, onion, and garlic. It’s then normally served on high of a portion of rice.

Frijoles rojos was initially a laborer’s meal. It’s budget-friendly and full of power and vitamins – good for fueling a tough day at work. Nevertheless, Frijoles Rojos have turn into a broadly eaten dish in Colombian delicacies. Watch this straightforward video to make it your self.

5. Bananos Calados

Bananos calados is considered one of Colombia’s finest desserts and comes from the Quindio area, close to the Andes. It may not look (or sound) appetizing, however it’s simply one of many tastiest meals you possibly can strive from Colombian delicacies. The dessert consists of fried bananas blended with lime juice and served with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream, making a candy but tangy deal with in your tastebuds. Often, you may additionally discover the lime juice changed by orange juice and cinnamon – so preserve your eye out for any distinctive recipes.

Colombia has a lot of native fruit, and you may simply see that this has impressed many conventional recipes. Bananos calados are one meals to strive if you wish to expertise Colombia’s dessert scene. Make this scrumptious candy at house to carry again reminiscences of your travels to Colombia.

6. Chicharron Colombiano

colombian food Chicharron Colombiano

Chicharron Colombiano is fried pork stomach, a hearty dish coated in onions, bay leaves, and seasoning for a wonderful style. Chicharron is full of taste and served with a crisp texture that has been perfected over generations of cooking. It’s a typical dinner dish and is related to household and custom.

The dish is typical of Colombia’s Andean area. Nevertheless, it originated in Spain and was launched to Colombia by Spanish colonizers. The Spanish recipe varies drastically; rind or stomach cuts can be utilized, in contrast to the Colombian model. You’ll discover that almost all international locations in Latin America have their very own model of chicharron. Get able to strive as many alternative variations as doable. Colombia has since taken a agency spin on the dish, although, and chicharron has nicely and actually entered Colombian delicacies.

7. Coconut rice

Overlook white rice; coconut rice is the tastiest. As its identify could counsel, coconut rice is cooked with coconuts, giving it a yummy taste and getting it a spot on this record as a meal in its personal proper. There are two most important methods coconut rice is ready: cooking it in coconut milk or mixing it with shredded coconut. Cooking it in coconut milk is the very best, as you get a stronger coconut taste.

The historical past of coconut rice is a little bit of a thriller. The dish is scattered throughout the globe, particularly in Asia and South America. Nevertheless, since coconuts are considered one of Colombia’s most typical tropical fruits, it’s no thriller why they’re so prevalent in Colombian delicacies. For those who get the possibility to strive it, coconut rice is a tasty dish.

8. Pescado Frito

colombian food Pescado Frito

Pescado Frito is a traditional, conventional Colombian meals. Pescado Frito interprets as fried fish and is served complete, with pores and skin and head intact. It may be just a little daunting in case you aren’t used to consuming fish like this. Nevertheless, you’ll quickly be received over, as cooking the fish in its pores and skin boosts its taste and retains the fish meat moist. You possibly can anticipate a lot juicer meat than you’d get consuming fillets and fish steaks.

In Colombia, the fried fish is normally mojarra or purple snapper. The fish is sliced after which flavored with lime and seasoning, typically sitting within the juice for some time to actually absorb the flavour. It’s served with rice, plantain, and salad – the proper lunch dish.

9. Arepa de Huevo

colombian food Arepa de Huevo

Arepa de huevo is a variation of normal arepas, that are fried corn truffles. Arepas are a massively common breakfast meals and are additionally thought of considerably of a consolation meals. Arepa de huevo are one of many tastiest variations with egg. Getting ready them entails frying a corn cake, splitting it, and filling it with an egg, then frying it once more to prepare dinner the egg inside. The result’s a fried egg coated in fried bread.

It’s no shock that arepas de huevos are probably the most common dishes – particularly for breakfast. They’re served in stacks (like pancakes) as a standalone dish. Simply choose your sauce to match, salsa and bitter cream are nice selections. See this recipe to get up with a style of Colombia.

10. Sopa de Pollo

Sopa de pollo interprets as rooster soup, and it’s one other comforting meal in Colombian delicacies. It’s honest to say that it’s most likely the commonest Colombian soup and is broadly eaten throughout the nation. The rooster soup can also be full of plantain, corn, potatoes, and yuca. In reality, it’s so filled with elements that it typically seems extra like a stew than a soup.

In fact, rooster soup is discovered worldwide, however Colombia’s model is especially scrumptious. The mix of elements like plantain and yuca is rather more distinctive, and sometimes Colombian recipes use a complete rooster.

Sopa de pollo is a superb Colombian meals to strive when visiting or to recreate at house. It’s best cooked slow-cooked and served piping sizzling and is a kind of one-pot dishes the entire household loves.

11. Morcilla

colombian food morcilla

Morcilla is a blood sausage made with floor pork and pork blood. Morcillas are simply noticed due to their darkish, deep reddish-brown shade. They’re a really conventional dish throughout Latin America. You should not have any downside discovering some to strive in case you go to Colombia. And in case you like black pudding, you’re in for a deal with.

Morcillas are ready from scratch, and the method entails squeezing the combination into sausage casings. The bottom meat is blended with pork blood, onions, and rice earlier than being put into casings. Colombian recipes have a tendency so as to add cilantro and sometimes inexperienced peas as nicely. The sausages are then normally boiled to prepare dinner.

12. Cazuela de Mariscos

Prepared for a Colombian seafood dish? Cazuela de mariscos is without doubt one of the hottest Colombian dishes in coastal areas, particularly alongside the Caribbean Coast and Cartegena. It’s a typical meals and seafood casserole or seafood stew – full of the whole lot from prawns to mussels and lobster. The meats are cooked in coconut milk with a mix of greens. You would possibly even have white wine and cheese added to the combo in case you are fortunate.

Cazuela de mariscos is an iconic dish when visiting Colombia’s shoreline. What is healthier than a recent seafood dish? More often than not, the elements have been simply caught out of the Caribbean Sea. That is undoubtedly one in your record whenever you go to Colombia. Or strive making it at house with this yummy recipe.

13. Colombian Bunuelos

colombian food bunuelos

Bunuelos are deep-fried balls full of recent cheese – an ideal afternoon snack or breakfast chunk. Surprisingly sufficient, they’re typically served alongside sizzling chocolate and occasional, so you possibly can typically discover bunuelos at cafes in Colombia.

Bunuelos are probably the most common Colombian meals. The recipe creates dough from yucca flour, cornstarch, eggs, milk, and sugar. The deep-fried dough is then made, with the bunuelos organized into their attribute appetizer-sized ball form and floated in a pan of boiling vegetable oil.

It’s thought that bunuelos have been launched to Colombia by Spanish invaders. The snack is now eaten throughout Colombia as road meals and cafe or restaurant deal with. Bunuelos are particularly common at Christmas time. We discovered this straightforward to comply with recipe on YouTube

14. Obleas

best colombian food Obleas
Filling of Obleas ready for the second wafer (beneath) to create the sandwich

Obleas isn’t just a typical Colombian dish; it’s loved throughout Spain and Latin America. Obleas seems to be like a sandwich, and that’s exactly what it’s. The traditional dessert consists of two wafers that sandwich a filling of dulce de leche and sometimes a mix of fruit, whipped cream, and jam. The Colombian model is sort of equivalent however provides one particular ingredient – Colombian caramel.

For those who’ve bought a candy tooth, obleas are among the finest typical Colombian desserts to strive. You’ll discover them all over the place, from cafes to road stalls.

15. Lechona

Lechona is a Colombian meals for particular events. The dish consists of an entire roasted pig full of onions, peas, potatoes, pork fats, white rice, garlic, and spices like cumin. After the pig has had its bones eliminated and has been stuffed, it’s positioned within the oven and slow-cooked (typically for as much as ten hours).

For sure, lechona is meant to be the culinary masterpiece of the desk. It’s a dish designed to be shared with giant teams of individuals whenever you wish to splash out on a elaborate meal. You’ll typically discover particular person servings of lechona at eating places round Colombia, although, so preserve your eyes peeled.

16. Cholado

traditional colombian food Cholado

Let’s set Colombian meals apart for a second. Cholado is without doubt one of the finest drinks in Colombia, so let’s introduce you. The drink is a refreshing combination of shaved ice, recent fruit, and sweetened condensed milk. Relying on the place you get one, you may additionally discover the drink served with ice cream, wafers, and whipped cream.

Cholado originates from Jamundi in Valle de Cauca. It’s a combine between dessert, fruit cocktail, and drink – ticking all of the bins creatively and deliciously. For those who love recent fruit and candy treats, it’s a nice drink to strive when visiting Colombia, but easy sufficient to recreate at house.

17. Carimanola

Carimanolas are straightforward to identify. The tiny fritters are formed into attribute torpedo shapes, normally served in bulk as bitesize appetizers. They’re a conventional Colombian meals, though you’ll additionally discover carimanolas in different Southern American international locations like Panama.

Inside, carimanolas are full of floor beef or shredded rooster, cheese, and seasoning. The fritters are then deep-fried to create a kind of meat pie. They’re mild and crispy on the surface but gentle on the within. As a rule, carimanolas include aji sauce. This shiny inexperienced sauce primarily consists of cilantro and is good and spicy – the proper facet. Need to strive them earlier than your travels? Head over to comply with this recipe

18. Colombian Sopa de Mondongo

colombian Sopa de Mondongo

Whereas mondongo typically has a stew-like consistency, it’s really one other typical Colombian soup. The soup consists of onion, potato, beef tripe, chorizo, and pork, all served piping sizzling in a small bowl. It’s a extremely conventional Colombian meals, and also you’ll discover mondongo at most eating places throughout the nation.

Like many Colombian dishes, sopa de mondongo is believed to have been launched by Spanish colonizers. The tomato-based soup has been firmly adopted into the Colombian culinary scene, although, and Colombian variations of the recipe have a particular twist.

19. Fritanga

colombian food Fritanga

Fritanga is a platter dish. The dish is broadly bought amongst road meals distributors and consists of a mix of meals heaped onto a big plate – normally barbecued on the road. So, what meals will you discover in fritanga? Normally, chorizo, sausage, plantain, and a mix of greens.

Fritanga is a Nicaraguan dish, though it has turn into adopted into Colombian delicacies. The story behind its origin is a tragic one. The meal was first created after the 1931 earthquake, which hit Nicaragua, and folks cooked meals on the road with barbecues.

Now, you’ll discover fritanga cooked throughout Latin America and Colombia. It’s a historic, tasty, and filling dish to strive.

20. Bocadillo

colombian dishes Bocadillo

A bocadillo is a scrumptious Colombian meals made with guava paste – a product of a well-liked tropical fruit. The dish is extraordinarily candy and a particular deal with and dessert. It has a melt-in-your-mouth texture however is in any other case not sticky to the contact. Bocadillos solely require a couple of elements, largely panela and guava pulp, so they’re simple to make if you wish to recreate the dish at house.

You’ll typically discover bocadillos served at cafes, normally alongside a slice of salty white cheese. They arrive reduce into little rectangles or squares and are the proper bitesize treats.

21. Aborrajados

colombian food Aborrajados

Aborrajados are one dish that you simply don’t discover as simply. It originated within the Valley de Cauca and is a regional specialty. The artistic (if barely bizarre-sounding) dish consists of deep-fried plantain full of cheese to create a crispy, wholesome cheese chunk. The easiest place to strive aborrajados is within the area of the Valley de Cauca itself, the place you’ll discover the dish most prevalently anyway.

Aborrajados are served as snacks or appetizers earlier than a big meal. Don’t rule out the dish at pudding time, although, as you possibly can add guava paste to the fried dish to create a candy deal with for dessert.

22. Arroz con Pollo

Arroz con pollo actually interprets as rice with rooster. It’s a easy however staple Colombian meals and very similar to Spanish paella. The dish consists of rice, rooster, onion, and greens, with saffron tossed by means of the combination for extra taste.

If you’d like a filling dish, arroz con pollo is an excellent alternative. Plus, it’s straightforward to search out and is broadly served at eating places and road vendor stalls throughout Colombia. It’s believed that arroz con pollo originated in Spain whereas the nation was below Moorish affect. When Spanish colonizers arrived in Colombia, it’s presumed that the dish was launched to Colombian meals tradition.

23. Cocadas Blancas

colombian dishes Cocadas Blancas

We’ve coated heaps from Colombia’s coastal area. However what a couple of dessert from the Caribbean Coast? Cocadas blancas is a brilliant candy dessert in your record. The dish is made with a mixture of shredded coconut, sugar, milk, and coconut water. Relying on the place you strive it, you may additionally discover additional elements like cinnamon – most individuals have their very own twist on the traditional recipe.

Cocadas blancas are normally bought on the road and alongside Colombia’s seashores. Nevertheless, yow will discover them on dessert menus in eating places too. They’re scrumptious meals, sticky and candy. You might be in for a deal with attempting one.

24. Colombian Scorching Chocolate

colombian hot chocolate

Talking of desserts, sizzling chocolate is one other candy deal with that Colombia excels at. The Colombian model of sizzling chocolate is known as Santafereno. It is extremely totally different from the European and American variations of the drink. As a substitute of candy milk chocolate, the Colombian model makes use of darkish, unsweetened chocolate. Santafereno is often made in water, not milk, with cinnamon or cloves typically added to counteract any bitterness. It could sound unusual, however Colombians are additionally well-known for dipping cheese of their sizzling chocolate – which you’ll or could not wish to strive.

One other factor that’s necessary to know is that Colombia has been utilizing chocolate for hundreds of years. Chocolate is constructed from cacao bushes, that are present in areas of Colombia and the Amazon basin. Colombia isn’t alone both; cacao has been used all throughout Latin America way back to the Aztecs and Mayans.

25. Calentado

Calentado is a staple in Colombian gastronomy and is a dish rooted in recycling leftovers from the night time earlier than – its identify actually interprets as ‘heated’. The dish was born out of poverty to restrict waste, however now it is without doubt one of the most conventional meals in Colombia.

The most typical elements in a calentado dish are white rice, plantain, and steak. It’s then typically topped with a fried egg and arepas, even perhaps served with a sizzling chocolate or espresso. By the character of the dish, calentado was primarily cooked at house. In fact, now you’ll discover it on menus throughout the nation. At eating places, you are likely to additionally discover avocado and sausage served alongside the usual elements.

26. Fried Plantain

colombian dishes fried plantains

Fried plantain is yummy Colombian meals. To the untrained eye, you could be forgiven for mistaking them for bananas. They appear equivalent, besides plantains are a lot bigger, much less candy, and solely turn into ripe as soon as they flip black. Of their yellow phases, plantains are good for frying, which is the place deep-fried plantain is available in.

The most effective factor about fried plantain is its versatility. You possibly can have it savory with breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Or you can caramelize it and have it as a dessert. You possibly can pair it with an egg, or you can pair it with ice cream.

Fried plantain tastes like a potato, and the crisp outer layer offers option to a gentle, squishy inside. You received’t have any points discovering fried plantain in Colombia (or Latin America), so strive it your self.

28. Colombian espresso

For those who love espresso, you’re in for a deal with. This conventional Colombian drink is world-famous, and the quantity of espresso beans grown in Colombia is thrilling for any caffeine fanatic. For essentially the most half, Colombia grows Arabica beans, that are mild and candy to style, in contrast to the extreme Robusta. The truth that Arabica is a bit weaker than Robusta might be a very good factor, although, since, in Colombian espresso tradition, it’s drunk most from late afternoon to early night. Not from the morning to early afternoons like within the US and Europe.

A good way to expertise Colombian is to go espresso tasting. And if you wish to go espresso tasting in Colombia, prioritize visiting Medellin or Manizales. These areas are famed for his or her espresso beans and have varieties named after them. You possibly can ebook excursions round native espresso plantations or go to native cafes.

27. Maracuya

colombian food Maracuya

Maracuya would possibly sound unfamiliar, however the chances are high excessive that you simply’ve seen one earlier than. Ardour fruit may not be a dish as such. Nonetheless, tropical fruits are such a longtime a part of Colombian gastronomy that we needed to embrace them on this record. Ardour fruits are a deep purple on the surface, with a waxy, protecting outer pores and skin. Minimize open, they reveal a tangy, scrumptious mattress of yellow seeds. These seeds could be eaten straight from the fervour fruit or used as an ingredient for merchandise like ice cream or juice.

Ardour fruits develop throughout South America and are believed to have initially come from the Northern Argentina area earlier than spreading out in recognition throughout the continent. Not planning a go to to Colombia? No downside. You possibly can strive ardour fruit worldwide since it’s a vital export product.

Colombian meals is without doubt one of the finest cuisines on the planet. There may be a lot to strive, so get began as quickly as doable. Fortunately, in case you are visiting Colombia, there are many meals excursions to pattern conventional Colombian delicacies – main you round the very best spots. You possibly can take a look at our greatest journey suggestions right here as nicely.

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