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Colombian Food: 28 Traditional Dishes to try in Colombia or at home


Latin America is known for its scrumptious meals, and Colombia doesn’t disappoint. In truth, sampling Colombian meals is likely one of the prime causes to go to Colombia. Like its nation, Colombian delicacies is numerous and thrilling.

You could spot the odd Caribbean meals or Peruvian dish in these 28 greatest 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 properly. Remember that there are regional variations when touring round Colombia’s must-see cities – you don’t need to miss out on a specialty dish.

28 Traditional Colombian Dishes

Ready to discover the very best Colombian meals? Whether you need to try some Colombian delicacies at home or are visiting Colombia and are excited to try native dishes, this information will introduce you to the very best. We’ll cowl every thing, from Empanadas to Frijoles Rojos. Let’s dive straight in.

1. Colombian Empanadas

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

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

If you need to try an empanada earlier than you journey to Colombia, you may observe this recipe to make your individual at home.

2. Pandebono

best colombian food Pandebono
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The legend behind pandebono is that an Italian baker residing 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 turned one of the vital in style Colombian meals.

So, what’s it precisely? The bread can also be nicknamed Colombian cheese bread, which ought to offer you an excellent trace. It is made with melted cheese, yuca flour, and eggs and formed into bagel or ball shapes. You can eat pandebono at breakfast, as road meals, or as a facet at dinner – it’s a versatile dish. Remember that it’s best eaten when it’s nonetheless heat out of the oven. Pandebono is a dish meant to be eaten as contemporary as potential.

To get in the temper in your Colombian travels, make your individual Pandebono at home with this recipe.

3. Bandeja Paisa

traditional colombian dishes bandeja Paisa
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Bandeja paisa might be probably the most iconic Colombian meals in 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, pink beans, and an avocado. The meats embrace minced beef and chorizo sausage to chicharron. You’ll often 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 excellent for employees spending lengthy days in the mountains and on farms. Bandeja paisa packs a nutritious punch and is full of protein and carbohydrates. It stays a preferred lunch alternative and is one to try should you go to Colombia. Make your recipe at home by following this recipe.

4. Frijoles Rojos

colombian cuisine Frijoles Rojos
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Frijoles Rojos is a particular Colombian dish that makes use of cargamento beans, additionally known as pink beans. This Colombian meals is especially wholesome, and pink beans are an excellent supply of iron, potassium, low-fat protein, and fiber. It is a stew-like concoction, and the pink beans are blended with tomatoes, onion, and garlic. It is then often served on prime of a portion of rice.

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

5. Bananos Calados

Bananos calados is one in all Colombia’s greatest 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 may try 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. Occasionally, you might also discover the lime juice changed by orange juice and cinnamon – so preserve your eye out for any distinctive recipes.

Colombia has plenty of native fruit, and you’ll simply see that this has impressed many conventional recipes. Bananos calados are one meals to try if you would like to expertise Colombia’s dessert scene. Make this scrumptious candy at home to convey again recollections of your travels to Colombia.

6. Chicharron Colombiano

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

The dish is typical of Colombia’s Andean area. However, it originated in Spain and was launched to Colombia by Spanish colonizers. The Spanish recipe varies tremendously; rind or stomach cuts can be utilized, not like the Colombian model. You’ll discover that almost all international locations in Latin America have their very own model of chicharron. Get prepared to try as many various variations as potential. Colombia has since taken a agency spin on the dish, although, and chicharron has properly and actually entered Colombian delicacies.

7. Coconut rice

Forget 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 major 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. However, since coconuts are one in all Colombia’s most typical tropical fruits, it’s no thriller why they’re so prevalent in Colombian delicacies. If you get the possibility to try it, coconut rice is a tasty dish.

8. Pescado Frito

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

In Colombia, the fried fish is often mojarra or pink snapper. The fish is sliced after which flavored with lime and seasoning, usually sitting in the juice for some time to actually take in the flavour. It is served with rice, plantain, and salad – the right lunch dish.

9. Arepa de Huevo

colombian food Arepa de Huevo
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Arepa de huevo is a variation of normal arepas, that are fried corn desserts. Arepas are a massively in style breakfast meals and are additionally thought-about considerably of a consolation meals. Arepa de huevo are one of many tastiest variations with egg. Preparing them includes 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 isn’t any shock that arepas de huevos are one of the vital in style dishes – particularly for breakfast. They are served in stacks (like pancakes) as a standalone dish. Just decide 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 hen soup, and it’s one other comforting meal in Colombian delicacies. It is truthful to say that it’s in all probability the most common Colombian soup and is broadly eaten throughout the nation. The hen soup can also be full of plantain, corn, potatoes, and yuca. In truth, it’s so stuffed with components that it usually seems extra like a stew than a soup.

Of course, hen soup is discovered worldwide, however Colombia’s model is especially scrumptious. The mix of components like plantain and yuca is far more distinctive, and sometimes Colombian recipes use a whole hen.

Sopa de pollo is a superb Colombian meals to try when visiting or to recreate at home. It is greatest cooked slow-cooked and served piping scorching and is a type of one-pot dishes the entire household loves.

11. Morcilla

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

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

12. Cazuela de Mariscos

Ready for a Colombian seafood dish? Cazuela de mariscos is likely one of the hottest Colombian dishes in coastal areas, particularly alongside the Caribbean Coast and Cartegena. It is a typical meals and seafood casserole or seafood stew – full of every thing from prawns to mussels and lobster. The meats are cooked in coconut milk with a mix of greens. You may even have white wine and cheese added to the combination in case you are fortunate.

Cazuela de mariscos is an iconic dish when visiting Colombia’s shoreline. What is best than a contemporary seafood dish? Most of the time, the components have been simply caught out of the Caribbean Sea. This is certainly one in your record whenever you go to Colombia. Or try making it at home with this yummy recipe.

13. Colombian Bunuelos

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Bunuelos are deep-fried balls full of contemporary cheese – an ideal afternoon snack or breakfast chew. Strangely sufficient, they’re usually served alongside scorching chocolate and occasional, so you may usually discover bunuelos at cafes in Colombia.

Bunuelos are one of the vital in style 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 is believed that bunuelos had 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 in style at Christmas time. We discovered this straightforward to observe recipe on YouTube

14. Obleas

best colombian food Obleas
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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 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 an identical however provides one particular ingredient – Colombian caramel.

If you’ve received a candy tooth, obleas are among the finest typical Colombian desserts to try. You’ll discover them in all places, 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 in the oven and slow-cooked (usually for up to ten hours).

Needless to say, lechona is meant to be the culinary masterpiece of the desk. It is a dish designed to be shared with massive teams of individuals whenever you need to splash out on a elaborate meal. You will usually discover particular person servings of lechona at eating places round Colombia, although, so preserve your eyes peeled.

16. Cholado

traditional colombian food Cholado
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Let’s set Colombian meals apart for a second. Cholado is likely one of the greatest drinks in Colombia, so let’s introduce you. The drink is a refreshing combination of shaved ice, contemporary fruit, and sweetened condensed milk. Depending on the place you get one, you might also discover the drink served with ice cream, wafers, and whipped cream.

Cholado originates from Jamundi in Valle de Cauca. It is a mixture between dessert, fruit cocktail, and drink – ticking all of the bins creatively and deliciously. If you’re keen on contemporary fruit and candy treats, it’s a nice drink to try when visiting Colombia, but easy sufficient to recreate at home.

17. Carimanola

Carimanolas are straightforward to spot. The tiny fritters are formed into attribute torpedo shapes, often served in bulk as bitesize appetizers. They are 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 hen, cheese, and seasoning. The fritters are then deep-fried to create a kind of meat pie. They are gentle and crispy on the surface but comfortable on the within. More usually than not, carimanolas include aji sauce. This vibrant inexperienced sauce primarily consists of cilantro and is good and spicy – the right facet. Want to try them earlier than your travels? Head over to observe this recipe

18. Colombian Sopa de Mondongo

colombian Sopa de Mondongo
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While mondongo usually 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 scorching in a small bowl. It is 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
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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 – often barbecued on the road. So, what meals will you discover in fritanga? Usually, chorizo, sausage, plantain, and a mix of greens.

Fritanga is a Nicaraguan dish, though it has grow to be 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 other people cooked meals on the road with barbecues.

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

20. Bocadillo

colombian dishes Bocadillo
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A bocadillo is a scrumptious Colombian meals made with guava paste – a product of a preferred 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 components, principally panela and guava pulp, so they’re simple to make if you would like to recreate the dish at home.

You’ll usually discover bocadillos served at cafes, often alongside a slice of salty white cheese. They come reduce into little rectangles or squares and are the right bitesize treats.

21. Aborrajados

colombian food Aborrajados
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Aborrajados are one dish that you just don’t discover as simply. It originated in the Valley de Cauca and is a regional specialty. The inventive (if barely bizarre-sounding) dish consists of deep-fried plantain full of cheese to create a crispy, wholesome cheese chew. The best place to try aborrajados is in 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 may 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 hen. It is an easy however staple Colombian meals and very like Spanish paella. The dish consists of rice, hen, onion, and greens, with saffron tossed via the combination for extra taste.

If you desire a filling dish, arroz con pollo is a superb alternative. Plus, it’s straightforward to discover and is broadly served at eating places and road vendor stalls throughout Colombia. It is believed that arroz con pollo originated in Spain whereas the nation was beneath 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
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We’ve coated heaps from Colombia’s coastal area. But what a couple of dessert from the Caribbean Coast? Cocadas blancas is an excellent candy dessert in your record. The dish is made with a mixture of shredded coconut, sugar, milk, and coconut water. Depending on the place you try it, you might also discover additional components like cinnamon – most individuals have their very own twist on the traditional recipe.

Cocadas blancas are often bought on the road and alongside Colombia’s seashores. However, you could find them on dessert menus in eating places too. They are scrumptious meals, sticky and candy. You are in for a deal with making an attempt one.

24. Colombian Hot Chocolate

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Speaking of desserts, scorching chocolate is one other candy deal with that Colombia excels at. The Colombian model of scorching chocolate is named Santafereno. It may be very completely different from the European and American variations of the drink. Instead 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 usually added to counteract any bitterness. It could sound unusual, however Colombians are additionally well-known for dipping cheese in their scorching chocolate – which you will or could not need to try.

Another factor that’s essential to know is that Colombia has been utilizing chocolate for hundreds of years. Chocolate is made out of cacao bushes, that are discovered 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 likely one of the most conventional meals in Colombia.

The most typical components in a calentado dish are white rice, plantain, and steak. It is then usually topped with a fried egg and arepas, even perhaps served with a scorching chocolate or espresso. By the character of the dish, calentado was primarily cooked at home. Of course, now you’ll discover it on menus throughout the nation. At eating places, you have a tendency to additionally discover avocado and sausage served alongside the usual components.

26. Fried Plantain

colombian dishes fried plantains
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Fried plantain is yummy Colombian meals. To the untrained eye, you could be forgiven for mistaking them for bananas. They look an identical, besides plantains are a lot bigger, much less candy, and solely grow to be ripe as soon as they flip black. In their yellow phases, plantains are excellent for frying, which is the place deep-fried plantain comes in.

The neatest thing about fried plantain is its versatility. You may have it savory with breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Or you could possibly caramelize it and have it as a dessert. You may pair it with an egg, or you could possibly pair it with ice cream.

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

28. Colombian espresso

If you’re keen on espresso, you might be 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 probably the most half, Colombia grows Arabica beans, that are gentle and candy to style, not like the extraordinary Robusta. The incontrovertible fact that Arabica is a bit weaker than Robusta might be an excellent 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 in the US and Europe.

A good way to expertise Colombian is to go espresso tasting. And if you would like 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 can ebook excursions round native espresso plantations or go to native cafes.

27. Maracuya

colombian food Maracuya
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Maracuya may sound unfamiliar, however the likelihood is excessive that you just’ve seen one earlier than. Passion fruit may not be a dish as such. Still, tropical fruits are such a longtime a part of Colombian gastronomy that we had to embrace them on this record. Passion fruits are a deep purple on the surface, with a waxy, protecting outer pores and skin. Cut 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.

Passion 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 can try ardour fruit worldwide since it’s a important export product.

Colombian meals is likely one of the greatest cuisines in the world. There is a lot to try, so get began as quickly as potential. Luckily, in case you are visiting Colombia, there are many meals excursions to pattern conventional Colombian delicacies – main you round the very best spots. You can take a look at our greatest journey ideas right here as properly.

Read different articles about Colombia and scrumptious meals of the world:



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