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Ajiaca is traditional soup made with 3 kinds of potatoes, corn, chicken, and a spice called guasca, which gives it a unique flavor. It comes in a large bowl and makes a full meal. The corn in this dish is still on the cob, and you pick it up to eat it. Ajiaca is very good--give it a try .
Written Mar 30, 2012
La Calera is a small town about 15 minutes from Bogota, and they are known for arepas (a corn cake with a filling inside.) Arepas go back to ancient times, but the type of filling varies by region. The ones in La Calera have a filling of fresh cheese. Arepa stalls lined the street, and we chose Asadero de Arepas, a small shop owned by Viviana. You can watch them being made.
Updated Mar 30, 2012
You will see food carts on the sidewalks all over town. My favorite snack was an Oblea, and I had them several times.
The Oblea starts with a thin wafer cookie the size of a tortilla. It gets covered with any or all of the toppings, including caramel, blackberry sauce, crema, cheese, and chocolate syrup, and topped with another wafer. They are messy, delicious, and cheap.
Written Mar 29, 2012
Though not as common in Bogota as in some parts of Colombia, vendors selling chantaduro are still to be found especially on traffic-free Sundays on La Plaza. One vendor in Salento had given us a small taste of the fruit and we found it a bit dry and tasteless but to be fair, it was with no topping. From what we say, people got the obviously very popular snack with either a savory or sweet flavoring and this must have made it less dry. This seed is from a tree in the palm family and is very nutritious so if so inclined give it a try and let me know if it's better than my first impression. It's a cheap snack and maybe we should have given it a full try but with so many other great things to eat, you don't want to waste your appetite on something you're not going to like!
Written Jul 28, 2010
One of La Candelaria's more charming aspects are the sculptures of local artist Jorge Olave. This sizable depictions of ordinary people are made of recycled materials and sit like sentinels atop the buildings looking down at those passing by. These relatively recent additions (since the late 1990s) are a nice addition to an area very much in transition and readying itself for a tourist influx it very much deserves.
Written Jul 28, 2010
One of the great things about arriving in Bogota on New Year's Day was that all the Christmas decorations were still up. Most Colombians like most South Americans are Catholic and they take Christmas pretty seriously so it came as no surprise that the would spruce things up especially on La Plaza. What was surprising was the colorfulness and what seemed to us a big departure from tradition with regard to their tree. It was big but plastic with red and yellow plastic ornaments right out of the 1960s. Even the nativity scene was on a grandiose scale. At first we found it a bit unnerving but warmed up to it when we saw the locals' obvious affection for it. When we returned to Bogota at the tale end of our two month travels around Colombia, the tree had been taken down and we kind of missed it.
Written Jul 28, 2010
Canelazo is a drink that will warm you up on a chill night in Bogotá. Though there are many recipies, canelazo is basically a mixture of aguapanela, lime juice, cinnamon and sugarcane liquor called aguardiente.
3 cups of aguapanela
1 cup of aguardiente
6 cinnamon sticks
several chopped limes
Boil chopped limes with aguapanela and cinnamon sticks. Once it is boiled, blend the liquid removing the cinnamon sticks. Pour in aguardiente and stir. Strain and serve hot. It serves 4.
Rum makes a great substitute if you can't find aguardiente and aguapanela can be replaced with brown sugar. You can also add more fruits, as oranges and passion fruit, or even aromatic herbs, as lemon grass. I love canelazo prepared with different fruits and aromatic herbs. It's such fine mixture of ingredients and it really tastes heavenly!!
Updated Mar 23, 2009
The diverse offer of fresh fruit in Colombia is immense and many of the different types have probably not been tried or seen by most of the people. When you are in Bogotá don't forget to sample the greatest variety of tropical fruits, from mango, papaya, maracujá, pineapple, banana, orange, melon and watermelon to lesser known but delicious curuba, feijoa, granadilla, lulo, guanábana, tomate de árbol, mamoncillo, uchuva, guayaba, chirimoya, chontaduro (fruit of a palm, eaten with salt and lemon or with honey)...
Many street vendors around the city offer fruit salads and freshly squeezed juices. Fruit salads are sometimes served with cheese (I prefer pure fruits) and fruit juices are often mixed with sugar, milk or water (I like them only with water, if necessary). At some places you can also get salpicón, mixed chopped up fruit with either orange juice or tamarindo soda drink Colombiana.
Updated Feb 20, 2009
Oblea is a typical sweet from Colombia and some other Latin American countries. It is very popular in Bogotá and you can buy this plain but delicious sweet from many street vendors around the city. Oblea is a very thin crisp wafer usually made of wheat flour. It somehow resembles pancake, but it's thinner. Oblea consists of two wafers and filling between them.
Most typical is oblea con arequipe (arequipe or dulce de leche in Spanish, which is prepared by slowly heating sweetened milk to make a cream that is similar in taste to caramel). Oblea can be also served with soft white cheese, mora (sweet blackbery) or condensed milk. To my surprise, many people chose the combination of all of them, but my favourite were with arequipe and arequipe/soft cheese.
Updated Feb 12, 2009
Despite the safety concerns that exist in Bogota, the fact is that the vast majority of locals are very friendly, sociable and willing to help. Just by smiling and respectful, it was easy to start up conversations with locals just about anywhere in Bogota.
We met Lina (in the second picture) in Park 93 at the Juan Valdez (yes, THAT Juan Valdez) coffee shop and ended up hanging out with her the whole evening.
Updated Dec 30, 2007
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