Colombians are proud of their cuisine and keen for visitors to try a bit of everything, which can mean tasting some very unusual combinations. Throw caution to the wind and give these culinary pairings a go. You just might discover a new favorite.
Hot Dogs and Pineapple
Colombians love a bit of junk food, especially from the street stalls that decorate most Colombian towns and cities after dark. And nothing is more popular than the humble hot dog, especially as Colombians have a record number of sauces to serve it with. Bored with the traditional tomato ketchup, mayonnaise, marie rose and mustard, many opt for the, surprisingly delicious, pineapple sauce.
Chocolate and Cheese
Chocolate and cheese go together like… do they go together? The good citizensof Colombia’s capital appear to think so. Chocolate and cheese is a traditional favorite both in Bogota and elsewhere in the Andes, and is available in several forms. Most popular is chunks of soft cheese dipped into a bowl of steaming hot chocolate, ideal for a chilly Andean morning. Choc-and-cheese sandwiches are not unheard of though.
Chicken Soup and Cream
If you thought the sweet and savory combination of chocolate and cheese was strange, wait until you see what bogotanos do to their world famous soup, ajiaco. This chicken and potato soup requires chicken, of course, three different potato varieties, the guascas herb, corn-on-the-cob, a spot of rice, a slice of avocado and… cream. Swapping the latter for sour cream or creme fraiche just doesn’t cut it.
And as if you needed further proof that Colombians are into mix-and-match when it comes to their cooking, lets consider the infamous bandeja paisa, surely one of the world’s most filling dishes given that it combines minced meat, chorizo, fried pork, fried egg, black pudding, red kidney beans (cooked with pork) plantain, arepa, white rice, hogao sauce, lemon and avocado. Yes, you read that correctly. And it’s delicious.
Egg and Arepa
From the bandeja paisa-loving coffee district to the egg-and-arepa loving Caribbean coast. You can’t get more quintessentially costeño that devouring a traditional arepa e huevo for your breakfast. This tasty snack defies logic too, for it’s basically a deep fried corn cake with a fried egg inside. It’s made by frying the arepa, or corn cake, until it’s almost done. You then make a small hole and pour a raw egg inside, before sealing it again and returning the arepa to the fryer. It’s quite the combination.
Calentado means “heated” and now you’ve probably got the idea that Colombians dislike letting their food go to waste. Calentado is basically made by combining your leftovers, such as beans, rice, eggs (fried), arepas, beef and chorizo. Unlike the bandeja paisa, where these foodstuffs only share the same plate, what can be mixed together, is mixed together. Nothing makes a Colombian feel more nostalgic than that.
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