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Eva Laura Siegel

Eva Laura Siegel

I´m a 27-year-old public health researcher in the area of HIV/STIs originally from San Francisco, California.

In 2008 I moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina on more or less of a whim, and since then I´ve lived in Cali, Colombia and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which is where I currently write from.

When I´m not talking to people about their sex lives, I read far too many articles online, do a lot of ill-recommended cooking experiments, wander around the city, and go to music and dance stuff.


Blog entries categorized under Eva Laura Siegel

How to make ají (Colombian hot sauce)


If you sit down at any neighborhood joint in Colombia for a bite, you will see small bowls filled with something that looks like a watery relish. This is ají, and it is delicious and not at all relishy. Ají is vinegary and salty and a bit spicy, and it is served with all manners of Colombian food, but especially with empanadas, papas rellenas and other fritanga, as it is a perfect complement to heavier fried foods. Along with hogao, the tomato and onion base used for much of Colombian food, ají is one of the defining sauces in Colombian cuisine.

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Recent Comments Show all comments
  • Johana
    Johana says #
    Thank you so much for this recipe. I never have tried ají made with lime juice, that doesn't sound right... I'm Colombian, my favo...
  • Eva Laura Siegel
    Eva Laura Siegel says #
    I'm sure everyone has their own way of doing it, but when I was taught to make this kind of aji the acid was provided by white vin...

Lo que más se vende - Empanadas


I’ve written here about the sacred 4 pm. merienda (afternoon snack) in Colombia before, the beloved fourth meal of the day between lunch and dinner. Merienda (also called “el algo”, “the something”) is often something sweet, along the lines of a pastry, or maybe one of the numerous cheese-based breads that Colombian bakeries excel at.

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Defining a“rumba”

The first time I went to Colombia, in 2008, I stayed with my friend Carolina and her family. It was December, and people were already gearing up to celebrate. In daily conversations with friends, the word "rumba" kept coming up over and over again in the context of going out at night, but I could never pin down what it actually meant. “Hay rumba?” “Vamos a rumbear?” Is there a rumba? Are we going to rumba? I tried asking Carolina: -Rumba is like fiesta? -Sort of....-It's going out dancing? -Well, kind of...

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Tags: Cali, colombia, music
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  • Carlos
    Carlos says #
    Great post seems you finally started realizing what rumba really means,i stronglly recommed you visit barranquilla where " rumba" ...

(Not So Secret) Secrets of the Colombian Kitchen

As is probably pretty obvious by now around here, much of my time in Colombia has been spent in people's kitchens, principally my boyfriend's mother's. Though the fact that most ovens in Colombia lack any form of temperature control drives me crazy, Colombian kitchens come standard with a fair amount of ingenious gadgets that aren't seen in the states but that I think would be equally as useful for many households.

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Recent Comments Show all comments
  • Eva
    Eva says #
    Petra, I'm so glad to hear that it worked out for you! Thanks for writing back with your update!
  • Petra
    Petra says #
    Just a quick update to say that after a bit of trial and error with heat settings, timings and salt quantity I am now turning out ...

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