Bandeja paisa is one of the most traditional foods in the Medellin area. The paisa refers to the region in which in Medellin is situated and it was even considered at one point to be made the national food of Colombia, this however did not happen due to other regions have variations of it and disagreeing, still this truly is a staple of a ‘paisa’s’ diet. It is meant to have many different items which all have different flavours so that it will fill you up. Typically, it has a meat such as chicharron, beans, rice, plantain, arepa, fried egg and avocado; sometimes with chorizo and mince meat too.
Colombia has an abundance of exotic fruits which most people outside of Latin America will only have ever sampled. There are more common ones such as passion fruit and dragon fruit which are usually a treat to those out of the country but there is such a big variety available it is a must to try some. Cherimoya and uchuva are two personal recommendations due to their unavailability in Europe and incredible, unique flavour. The limes and avocados are as fresh as can be so you must also make sure you indulge in them whenever possible, natural lemonade with coconut is absolutely delicious.
Cazuela de Frijoles
This in essence is a variation on the Bandeja paisa which is so famous in the Antioquian area of Colombia. It combines similar ingredients; chicharon, chorizo, plantain, mince meat, arepas, corn, avocado and beans. Instead of on a plate the ingredients are combined in a bowl but all the flavours still complement each other and it is also very traditional.
Arepa’s are a type of tortilla made from maize. They are a staple in the diet of Colombians, it not being uncommon to have one with every meal. Other than being used a side or a part of a meal they are often topped with a wide variety of vegetables, meats and salsas.