Try Colombian Food Recipes For Latin Flavor

Whoever said that all the world's a stage never realized that, in fact, all the world's a giant dining table. Foodies love the variety of dishes from different parts of the globe and often learn how to make their favorites so that they can experience other countries from the comfort of their kitchens. If you want to take an interesting and exciting culinary trip, look for Colombian food recipes that will bring some Latin flavor to your life.

The South American country of Colombia boasts a surprising diversity. It's home to the descendants of indigenous peoples, Spanish colonists, African slaves and later immigrants from Europe and as far away as the Middle East. These people all brought their culinary traditions to a country that is astonishingly geographically diverse too, with sweltering jungles, coastal plains, savannas and cold, mountainous regions, among others. This means that there is a wide variety of ingredients to use and Colombia boasts many different regional cuisines.

One dish that features at almost every meal is the 'arepa', a type of bread made from corn and looking a bit like a pancake. It's often served for breakfast with only a bit of cheese. Eggs can be added for something more substantial and in the cooler highlands, breakfast often includes a soup too, such as the milky 'changua'. Another breakfast option is to have rice and beans along with chorizos and eggs. Naturally the best way to wash it all down is with coffee but hot chocolate will do as well.

The main meal is normally served in the afternoon. Colombians love their meat and won't hesitate to eat different types of meat at the same time. An example is 'bandeja paisa', often called the country's national dish, which features beef as well as pork and even sausages. Chicken is popular too. Along the coast, fresh seafood features more strongly.

New-world vegetables such as potatoes and corn feature strongly, as do carrots and peas. Tamales are popular too and instead of being wrapped in corn husks, they come in banana leaves. Coconut is another ingredient that is used especially in the more tropical areas and many Colombian meals will also feature cassava or plantains.

Colombia is home to a huge variety of fruits that you've probably never even heard of. These are almost impossible to find outside of the country. However, Colombians also love papayas, bananas, guavas, passion fruit, mangoes and citrus fruits that you'll be able to pick up at your local grocer's.

Fruits often feature in desserts. The 'cholado', for instance, is a fruity, frozen cocktail that also contains ingredients such as condensed milk. Figs are boiled in syrup and served like preserves, along with cheese. Children's favorites include a coconut-based flan or rice pudding.

The best way to find authentic recipes from Colombia is to ask someone who is from that country or to visit and attend cooking classes while you're there. Another option is to look in specialty recipe books, such as those focusing on Latin American cuisine. Food blogs are great too, especially since they might feature instructional videos that will make it easier to explore the tastes of Colombia.

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