Miércoles 15 de Junio de 2011 15:20
After arriving in Bogotá last week I have been quickly introduced to some amazing food. From top-notch restaurants to quick and fast arepas, the hungry will not be disappointed at all. Bogota’s food scene is currently one of transformation – classy upscale restaurants can be found everywhere in the Candelaria, or the city center, often affordable to travelers on a budget, the city’s food should not be missed.
Typical Colombian breakfast often includes hot chocolate made with milk. Black coffee, or tinto, is also common while cafe con leche, coffee with milk, is found for those finding pure coffee a bit too strong. For those used to strong coffee it may be worthwhile to ask for a stronger coffee as cafe con leche is usually served with plenty more milk than coffee. Bread, usually white, or pastry-like creations are common breakfast items, while arepas, corn or flour tortillas Colombian style, are also typical. For the curious, chocolate con queso, hot chocolate served with cheese, is recommended.
Unsure about how to mix the two, after some asking around it was discovered that the proper technique is to dunk the cheese in the hot chocolate and drink it before scooping the almost entirely melted cheese with your spoon.
All over the city there are diners or restaurants offering platos. Usually served with soup of the day and a fresh-pressed juice or some sort, the meals are filling, interesting and great for those wanting to get a taste of real Colombian food. Meat, usually beef, chicken or fish, with fries, rice, tropical salad and fresh salsa are the norm. Vegetarian platos are hard to come by, however after experiencing asking for a plato con carne is not a problem at all as most restaurants are filled with enough fresh fruits and vegetables to please any vegetarian at all. For those in a hurry, empanadas can be found on almost every street corner, along with arepas which are enjoyed all day long./p>
For anyone not used to an abundance of tropical fruit, jugos, or juices, are definitely a treat. Made with either milk or water, the fresh juices found in many restaurants and bars will surely introduce the palate to new and exciting flavours. The typical mango, passion fruit and papaya can be found, while for the curious new fruits are surely worth anticipating. New and tried fruits which make wonderful juices are lulo, pitahaya, and guayaba. Apart from the fruit, creamy avocadoes, plantain and exotic vegetables are also everywhere.
From classic bakeries complete with torta, to salads where vegetables and fruits come together, the hungry traveler is sure to find something surprising and delicious without worrying about breaking the budget. Friendly servers are willing and open to answer questions and give advice about their country’s food. As I get ready to head off to where one of Colombia’s most prized and famous products is produced, the Departamento del Quindío, or the Coffee triangle, I look forward to the new culinary gems this country has to offer.