Plantain, cheese, yuca, beans and chocolate. The main ingredients to some of the best Colombian dishes. Oh and their favourite means of cooking is deep frying. I guess you can stop reading now, I’ve pretty much covered Colombian cuisine.
But for those curious chefs, the question is, how do they use these ingredients to give flavour to Colombia…
Everyone is unique. Yet there are always little traits uniting people in the same region. There is no way I could unify Rolos (Bogota), Costeños (Caribbean Coast), Caleños (Cali) and Paisas (northwest Colombia: Antioquia and surrounding areas). They’re four different regions producing very different people. However, I’m going to attempt to bring together what I feel are the ingredients for a Paisa.
Colombia has the second highest biological diversity in the world, according to conservation and environmental inspirers and educators, Mondabay (and other sites), coming in just after Brazil. However, if you actually look at the statistics, they aren’t too far behind Brazil, while China, in third place, is obviously lower. Think about how big Brazil is in comparison to Colombia. Colombia has it all crammed into a tiny space and they still beat Brazil with the highest amount of bird biodiversity!
Arriving in Medellin I was surprised by how green it was. A city in Medellin… one of the biggest cities in the country! Imagine the rest of the country. Consideringa large portion of the country is amazon, there’s a lot of biodiversity.
So what did I do to enjoy Colombia’s biodiverse market?
I was given every possible sign not to go. Two planes actually turned around and brought me back to where I started. Yet third time lucky right? So I ended up in one of the most beautiful places on the Colombian Caribbean coast -Parque Nacional Tayrona, Santa Marta.
I’ve just been pondering why the Gold Museum of Bogota is so important. It actually comes up as number 1 in the top things to do in all of Colombia. Of course I paid it a visit, but why was it worth my time?
Capital Cities are usually the capital for a reason. Whether they’re located in Asia, the Americas, Australia, Europe or whichever continent in the world, they have something in common.
Technically this commonality is defined by wikipedia as:
A capital city is a city or town, specified by law or constitution, by the government of a country, or part of a country, such as a state, province or county. It usually serves as the location of the government’s central meeting place and offices.
For a long time (from a foreigner’s perspective) when someone mentioned a planned visit to Colombia, it was usually accompanied by heeds of warning. When someone mentioned Medellin, old mate Pablo popped into mind. When someone mentioned Comuna 13… well now we’re just getting too specific.
However, talking to a Paisa (a Colombian born in Medellin) when someone mentioned Comuna 13 that’s when the real heeds of warning came up. There are plenty of good areas in Medellin, but avoid Comuna 13, if you can.
So obviously that’s one of the first places I went to visit.