25 May 2016
4 Delicious Colombian Food Combinations
My first month in Colombia consisted of me shoving new foods in my mouth and looking for jobs. My search for jobs ended when I actually found one (go figure), but my fondness for gorging on Colombian deliciousness continues to this very day.
Nothing delights me more than stumbling upon an interesting food combination to try, and by try, I mean devour. There is no doubt this country has delicious food, but the way these foods are sometimes paired together makes them all the more appealing.
Chocolate con Queso
Even someone with the most basic knowledge of Spanish probably knows queso means cheese. I knew that too, but for some reason, I did not understand that a woman selling hot chocolate on the side of the street wanted to know if I wanted cheese added to my cup of hot chocolate. If I understood the question, my answer would have been “of course,” because it is never in my nature to turn my back on cheese. But since I didn’t understand the question, yet nodded my head anyways, I was handed a piping hot cup of hot chocolate with what appeared to be marshmallows, but were actually chunks of mozzarella cheese. I thought the sweet and cheesy drink was delicious, but I could see how some people could find this combination less than desirable. Once I drank the chocolate, I was left with melted, gooey strings of cheese that I ate with my fingers, because I am a lady.
Bocadillo con Queso
While we are still aboard the cheese train, let’s talk about bocadillo con queso. It’s hard to walk even a couple of blocks without seeing bocadillo con queso for sale. Bocadillo is a sweet guava paste that has a reddish hue. Like the chocolate con queso, this dessert marries the sweet taste of bocadillo with the saltiness of cheese. You can buy this yummy combination individually-wrapped on the street in Colombia and it kind of looks like red velvet cake bars with white icing. Some people here also cut sweet plantains lengthwise and stuff it with bocadillo con queso.
Colombia is all about the soup. A typical Colombian lunch will come with soup even if you didn’t ask for it. Soup is so big here, some Colombians even eat it for breakfast. Changua is a hearty soup normally eaten for breakfast in the central Andean region of Colombia. While most soups have a broth base, this one has a milk base. Besides milk, Changua usually contains eggs, cilantro and scallions. It’s a yummy way to start the day, plus it is said to be good for hangovers.
Mango con Sal
Why not add a little sodium to your fruit? Cut, fresh mangos are widely available around Colombia, but they are served a little differently than some people are accustomed to. The mangos that are still green are cut up and vendors salt the slices upon request. Since the mango is not very ripe, the tart flavor mixes with the salt in a unique way. The salt makes the mango taste less sour and serves as a great way to get rid of the salty snack craving without reaching for the chips.
About the author:
Anneliese Delgado is an American writer living in Bogotá. Her mother is from the United States and her father is from Venezuela, giving her the unique opportunity to blend in on the streets of Colombia, while still viewing the country from the eyes of an outsider. When she’s not writing, she’s playing soccer, wandering around stores with no intention on buying anything and binge-watching Netflix. You can read more about her adventures on her blog at abroadincolombia.com.