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What Food to Try in Colombia This Coming National Lover’s Day

taco in a bowl
You can’t celebrate National Lover’s Day without trying out every Colombian food you can find.

If you missed out on Valentine’s Day, not to worry. April 23rd is your next chance at showing your love.

This coming National Lovers Day, celebrate with your partner as you go around Colombia taste-testing every local dish that you can find!

Unlike February 14, Lover’s Day is specifically for couples. Valentine’s Day is about love and friendship, very flexible for everyone. But Lover’s Day is meant for those in relationships, especially ones that need to reconnect and catch up.

Use this as an opportunity to go on a fun date. Have a food trip around beautiful Colombia!

Here’s a list of dishes that you can use as a checklist.

1. Arepas

These are light snacks you can munch on while traveling. If there’s one food that this country is famous for, it’s definitely the arepa.

What’s an arepa?

Arepas are corn cakes made from corn dough or precooked corn flour that’s flattened into a circular shape, looking much like a pancake. They can be grilled, fried, or baked. They can even be roasted. They are mostly best eaten with other dishes such as Bandeja Paisa or tamales.

They can also be filled with other ingredients, like ground beef, cheese, or egg. This is the most famous comfort food among locals.

2. Colombian Coffee

Another thing that Colombia is mostly known for is its coffee. The country has the best coffee beans in the world. This has much to do with their climate. They have the perfect balance of rainfall and sunlight, which is excellent for growing coffee.

Go coffee shop-hopping for Colombian coffee. Take delight in drinking a delicious cup of espresso or Americano with your partner during national couples day.

Here are coffee shops famous in Bogota:

  1. Varietale

  2. Amor Perfecto

  3. Juan Valdez Orígenes

  4. Libertario

  5. Café Cultor

  6. Azahar

  7. Colo Coffee

  8. Catación Pública

coffee in a colombian coffee shop
Colombian coffee is famous around the world for its taste, so you should definitely try it!

3. Ajiaco

This soup is common not just in Colombia but also in Peru and Cuba. It is made of vegetables, beef, pork, chicken, and a variety of tubers classified as viandas and starchy roots.

Before you add the guascas, it will taste similar to chicken soup. Afterward, it will develop a richness. Have some with your partner to warm up your stomach.

4. Bandeja Paisa

This one is a traditional Colombian meal, typically consisting of rice, ground beef, two types of Colombian sausage, fried pork rind (chicharron), red beans, a plantain, an arepa, a slice of avocado, and a fried egg on top. Locals refer to this as “a festival of meat on a frisbee-sized plate.”

5. Sancocho

Sancocho is every local’s childhood favorite soup. While it varies from country to country, Colombians’ variation consists of meaty vegetables, herbs, corn, and traditional broth.

You’ll find locals enjoying it with rice, avocado, and aji picante, a special hot sauce. Sometimes it can be filled with seafood or poultry, depending on who’s cooking.

6. Sancocho de Pescado con Coco

This is a soup similar to a normal Sancocho except it’s made with coconut and fish. Locals fill it with local fish like snapper of Spanish mackerel. Makes sense, as its name literally means “Colombian Fish Soup.”

7. Posta Negra Cartagena

This dish translates to “Cartagena’s Black Beef” and it’s a classic one. It’s made with black beef made from a tri-tip sirloin. Locals keep the fat on so the meat burns and releases the flavor once cooked.

The meat is then fried until it’s black. Later, they add fragrant pepper, garlic, tomato, and red onion to complete the dish. Then it’s put next to rice as its side dish.

8. Chontaduro

This is a sweet snack that can also double as an aphrodisiac. Chontaduro is peach palm fruit, one of the best-selling fruits in Colombia. It can be dry in taste but later on will grow on people who try it for the first time.

It works best with honey, salt, and some lemon. Try it for yourself!

9. Carne Oreada

This is a delicious meat dish that consists mostly of dry-cured beef.

The beef is cured with beer, lime, and salt before it gets placed under the hot Santander sun for a few days. After that, locals serve it with side dishes such as potatoes, yucca, and arepas santandereanas.

10. Bocadillo Veleño

This one is a sweet paste made of guava, a fruit commonly found in tropical countries such as Colombia. This sweet paste is made up of white and red guavas sandwiched between two unrefined sugar cane slices.

You can have this snack as you walk around looking for your next target to consume.

11. Maracuya

Have a local fruit to munch on this time! Maracuya – basically a passion fruit native in Latina America – is a yellow and nearly egg-shaped fruit that has a pungent yet pleasant smell when ripe.

Its interior has many edible black seeds that you can eat along with its sweet-tart that can be found with the seeds.

Slice one in two and scoop the treat out with a spoon for easier snacking!

12. Cabro Santandereano

This translates to Goat Santander. By North American standards, you probably think goat meat is tougher compared to beef and pork.

Not to worry because Colombians prepare this dish by marinating goat meat until it is tender and then grilling it to a smoky finish. It pairs well with red and white wine and is usually served with pepitoria or boiled yucca.

13. Colombian Empanadas

Compared to other empanadas, the Colombian version has an outer crust made of masarepa, a pre-cooked cornmeal.

You can eat this dish with all kinds of sauces as well as stuff it with different kinds of filling.

A dish of delicious Colombian Ceviche.
Colombian ceviche is a shrimp dish usually served as an appetizer. It is a must-taste if you are visiting Colombia.

14. Colombian Ceviche

Time for shrimp! This one is typically served cold. It contains fresh fish (a red snapper), some octopus, and, of course, shrimp.

It is also marinated in lime juice. Some locals even prefer their Ceviche with crackers and rich tomato sauce. Maybe you can have yours the same way too!

Travel for love and food!

Turn your love holiday into a food adventure! Rather than just spending the day at home, travel to Colombia and treat every day of your vacation as a date. You get the best of both worlds that way; enjoying delicious foreign food as well as spending your time with your loved one.

Food and love. The perfect match does exist, after all.

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