Colombia’s capital is packed with delights both old and new – many of them culinary. You’ll find a wide panoply of international cuisine on offer, of course, but you’ll definitely want to not miss some tasty local treats during your stay in Bogotá. And here’s a quintet not to miss!
One locals’ favourite –counteracting the sometimes chill in this city up 2,640 metres (8,660 feet) above sea level – this soup is simple but savoury: water, a little milk, egg, pieces of bread, and finely chopped coriander. There’s no rule that says when to eat it, families usually prepare it mainly on weekends or days when they gather at home to share a meal.
Another hearty soup, made from potatoes, a good ajiaco, cognoscenti say, must contain several types: sabanera, pastusa, and criolla. But its signature touch of flavour is lent by guascas, an herb of pre-Hispanic origin with a subtle flavour reminiscent of artichokes. Also added to the mix is chicken – in chunks or shredded – as well as corn on the cob, avocado, cream, and capers. Delish!
“Santa Fe Stew”
Puchero santafereño originally hailed from Spain but over time was adapted to local customs and tastes. It consists of cuts of chicken, beef and pork, to which are added corn on the cob, cassava, potato, and a pair of starchy Andean tubers, arracacha and cubios. All this is simmered over low heat, and definitely makes for another tasty dish to ward off the high-altitude chill.
Tamal with Hot Chocolate
Various Latin American countries have their own versions of the cornmeal tamal, and Bogotá’s is pretty typical. The corn dough is stuffed with a combination of meats – chicken, pork, and/or beef – along with a smattering of vegetables and chunks of hard-boiled egg, then steamed in a large banana leaf. You’ll often see it served for breakfast with a nice warm cup of cocoa, and it’s a great way to start the day, for sure!
And here’s a sweet touch to round out our little list. It’s actually Colombia’s answer to the pavlova – two layers of meringue with whipped cream and various chunks of fruit, including the likes of guanábana (soursop), mango, pomegranate, kiwi, strawberry, and passionfruit. You might also see it topped with a drizzling of chocolate syrup or fruit jam. Finger-licking good!
Photos| Starcevic ; ALLEKO ; hayaship ; MariaUspenskaya