Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Belly Happiness in Colombia (Good Food and Drink)

I have to begin this post stating the fact that none of us gringos, half gringos, or Colombians sustained any food-borne illnesses while in Colombia. This is worth noting because on our past travels to Latin American countries - Central America, Peru, and Ecuador - we have all had to deal with "traveler's diarrhea"  (Mud Butt, as Chris likes to call it) which is just a fancy way of saying we ingested something - usually water, vegetables, or fruit - that wasn't clean and caused our insides to, and I quote Missy Elliot, lose control.  BUT  on this trip to Colombia none of us had stomach issues. Chris, who unabashedly acknowledges his weak stomach, did stay away from uncooked fruits and vegetables just as a precaution but the other six of us ate and drank whatever we felt like to our heart's content. It would have been sad to miss out on all the exotic fresh fruit juices for fear of getting sick.

Even more glorious than being able to eat with abandon was the fact that in both Medellin and Bogota the tap water is safe to drink. Drinking water from the tap is something I always assumed was risky behavior outside of the United States but, alas, it is not! To me that is one of many signs of the progress that Colombia is making from all the crazy narco-trafficking, Pablo Escobar, and FARC drama of the 80s and 90s. Colombia is a seemingly safe place to visit now (even though that never stopped us before. We were in Bogota the summer of 1994 during the World Cup when Andres Escobar made an auto-goal in a game against the U.S. He was later murdered for that mistake.) and the food and water is not only safe to eat and drink but tasty as well. The photographs below represent a small portion of the typical Colombian fare we stuffed into our mouths during our vacation. Most of it was carbs, much of it was fatty, all of it was delicious.

*Limonada de Coco (Coconut Lemonade) - Absolutely the best lemonade I've ever had EVER. Very common along the Caribbean coast of Colombia and drunk by yours truly in Cartagena.

*Paletas de jugo natural (Fruit juice Popsicles)

*Mango Verde con Limon y Sal (Green mango slices with lime juice and salt)

*Cerveza Aguila - Eagle Beer, a cheap Colombian brand

*Latte from the Juan Valdez Cafe, which is Colombia's equivalent of Starbucks

*Granizado de Cafe - Frozen Coffee with Cream (we drank A LOT of coffee in Colombia, too be expected I suppose- hot, cold, black, with milk, etc.)

*The contraption that makes sugar cane juice.

*Guarapo - Iced Sugar Cane Juice

*Fresas y Uchuvas - Strawberries and Goldenberry,/Gooseberry/Ground Cherry

*A mix of drinks - White wine, Colombian beer, Bottled Water (boring!), and, of course, coffee 

*Fresh Pineapple Juice and Fruit

*Papaya slices and an Arepa de Huevo (cornmeal cake stuffed with an egg).

Different flavors of Cocadas - Coconut Candy

Agua de Coco straight from the source - Coconut Water

*Chocolate Covered Crepe with Vanilla Ice Cream

*Granizado de Cafe with Vanilla Ice Cream and Bailey's Irish Cream - So Decadent

*Jugo de Pina (pineapple juice), I forgot what the Green One is, and Jugo de Mora (blackberry juice)

*Guacamole - Duh...

*Empanadas, Papas Criollas, Arepa, Salchicas, y Morcilla - Empanadas, Andean Potatoes, Arepa, Sausage, and Blood Sausage

*Ajiaco - A super tasty Colombian soup typical in Bogota, comprised of mainly chicken and potatoes and topped with cream and capers. Was my favorite soup until...

*Bandeja Paisa - Typical plate of food from the Paisa region of Colombia. Consists of red beans, white rice, ground beef, fried egg, plantain slices, arepa, avocado, and chicharron (pork fat).

*Sobrebarriga Choreada - Flank Steak with Onion and Tomoato Sauce, Salad, Rice, and Grilled Yucca

*For my mom's birthday she received a moist piece of chocolate cake and coconut flan - YUM.

*Terrible picture of my NEW FAVORITE SOUP - Changua! Basically it's a milk soup with soft boiled eggs , bread, scallions, cilantro, and my undying love.

*Oblea Toppings - Condensed Milk, Caramel, and various Fruit Jams

*An Oblea

*Snack time while shopping for artesanias (folk art) - Different types of bread and Coca Tea for all.

*Coca Tea helps fight altitude sickness and keeps you energized. Like coffee with a slightly stronger kick. Not to be confused with cocaine!

*Typical Candies of Bogota

*Colombian Tamales - hearty; filled with chicken, pork, garbanzo beans, potatoes, carrots, peas, and cornmeal then wrapped in banana leaves.

Eating a traditional Christmas snack of Bunuelos and Natilla - farm cheese corn fritters and a thick custard.

*La Lechona - An entire pig (RIP) stuffed with yellow rice, peas, onions, and spices, cooked for about ten hours in a brick oven.

Cafe con Leche - My Favorite type of Coffee 

*A box of Te de Coca - Coca Tea
*Our New Year's Eve spread on the balcony of our hotel

*What our breakfasts usually consisted of - scrambled eggs, pan de bono, pan de yuca, arepa de choclo, and many types of fruit - granadilla, pitaya, papaya, anon, banano, carambola, and tomate de arbol. All washed down with coffee and/or kumis - a yogurt drink.

So next time you're in Colombia go ahead and eat like a Colombian and have that Papaya juice made with water. You won't regret it...unless you don't like papaya.

More pictures from Colombia on the next post so keep posted!


brianna said...

i loved this so so much! what great pics of food and family. :)

Anonymous said...

i loved this more. wish i was chowing down on the fruit right now. mo pics mo pics mo pics! and mo delicious food that doesn't give one gastrointestinalitis (sp?)!