Fill out your data to get our latest news and publications

    10 Key Ingredients in Colombian Cooking

    Colombians have a deep love of family and enjoy nothing more than gathering as many relatives as possible around the […]

    Colombians have a deep love of family and enjoy nothing more than gathering as many relatives as possible around the table for a long, satisfying lunch. As a result, Colombia’s most popular dishes involve many ingredients, which are usually placed in the centre of the table for diners to help themselves. Most families also boast recipes that have been passed from generation to generation. Here are 10 of the most important ingredients in Colombian cuisine:

    1. Cheese

    Colombians love white farmer’s cheese and families often buy 30-pound blocks at the supermarket. It is used in snacks such as almojabanas (cheese and corn cakes) and arepas (flatbreads) and is also popular deep fried as deditos de queso (cheese fingers).

    1. Corn

    Corn is probably Colombia’s most-used ingredient. It is the basis for arepas, almojabanas and bollos de mazorca, corn cakes sold on the street in most cities. Cornflour is also a key ingredient in bunuelos, fried cheese and corn balls that are traditionally eaten at Christmas.

    1. Cassava


    Cassava is known as yuca in Spanish, a root vegetable eaten both sweet and savouryBollos de yuca 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.

    1. Potatoes


    Most foreigners are familiar with one potato variety but Colombian ajiaco soup, for example, uses three. Each has a distinct taste and origin – small, yellow criolla potatoes grow at high altitudes, the dryer sabaneras in Boyaca and the crumbly pastusas in the south.

    1. Plantains


    Colombians love plantains and eat them baked and roasted, sweet and savoury. They form a vital part of national dishes including bandeja paisa, where plantains are served alongside mincemeat, pork and red beans, rice, chorizo, arepa, avocado, a fried egg and other staples.

    1. Guava


    Colombia is famous for many fruits 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.

    1. Beef


    Colombia is one of the largest cattle producers in the world. Popular dishes include bistek a la criolla, where steak is served with a delicious sauteed onion and tomato sauce and posta negra, where it is covered in a sweet, dark sauce often flavoured with cola.

    1. Rice


    Rice is one of Colombia’s most important crops and one of its favourite foods too. Many families eat arroz con pollo (chicken and rice flavoured with herbs and vegetables) at least once a week. Coconut-flavoured rice and sweet rice pudding are also much loved.

    1. Avocado


    Colombia produces over 220,000 tonnes of avocados a year, with dozens of varieties. Colombians particularly like large, green-skinned avocados, served with ajiaco and bandeja paisa. Many families use them for guacamole and aji de aguacate, a spicy dipping sauce.

    1. Coconut



    Coconut is much loved on the Caribbean coast. It is used in everything from cakes, flans and coconut balls (panelitas de coco) to soups, coconut rice and sauces for fish and chicken.

    Related articles

    Typical Colombian foods you should definitely try while visiting Colombia

    Catiba, the application that takes Colombian fruits and vegetables one step closer to the world

    The best cookbook in the world is Colombian

    Rate this post
    Artículos recomendados

    Five ways to celebrate Christmas in Colombia

    Christmas is coming and there is no better place to celebrate it than Colombia. Here are five ways to ensure...

    Why is the Willys Colombia’s transport of choice?

    Colombia is one of the world’s most diverse countries and it has the terrain to match. Visitors find themselves exploring...
    Boyaca Battle, Simon Bolivar, Colombia, Colombian independence

    The Battle of Boyacá, the decisive feat for Colombian independence

    The Independence Campaign, led by Simón Bolívar, was resoundingly successful in the Battle of Boyacá Bridge, an event that defined...
    Colombian souvenirs

    Colombia’s Top Five Souvenirs

    Nothing beats an amazing vacation, which is why it’s always a good idea to bring home a piece of your...
    Animals, Exotic, Colombian fauna

    7 Curious Colombian Animals

    Scientists recently discovered a frog that can change its skin texture to camouflage with whatever it is sitting on. The...
    fritanga, aromatica, fruit infusions, cholao/raspao, lechona, berraquillo, aguadepanela con queso, aguapanela and cheese, colombia, food, dishes, celebrations

    Six “Perfect Moment” Colombian treats you just have to try

    Traditional snacks, drinks and dishes are the source of much affection in Colombia, especially those that are associated with life’s...
    Tambora, instrumento musical colombiano

    The Sound of Music: Traditional Colombian instruments

    Colombia is often referred to as a dozen countries in one and nowhere is that more obvious than in the...
    Cabo de la Vela

    Five fabulous Colombian beaches that are perfect for gay travel

    Colombia’s cities are proof of the country’s warm welcome for gay travel with their nightclubs, festivals and enthusiastic celebrations of...
    Gabriel García Márquez, Nobel of literature, One hundred years of solitude, Literature, Colombia, Gabo

    The five most representative colombian writers

    The list is headed by Gabriel García Márquez, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, and Candelario Obeso, the...
    colombian trees

    Five trees that support Colombia’s stunning biodiversity

    Trees are Colombia’s most important plant. They provide us with oxygen, stabilize our soil, absorb our carbon and shelter and...