Comfort Culinary Excellence

The big meal of the day is lunch.

AJIACCO is Bogota's great contribution to the Soups of the World... chicken stock, with bounteous shredded chicken breast,  with 1 inch boiled potatoes and a corn cobette to which you add the following condiments if you so desire... cream mayonnaise, capers, cilantro, avocado slices, boiled rice, and some green salad with tomatoes.  OMG good!

Sancocho Cauldron in the Street in Belen, Medellin

Now, served pretty much on New Years and cooked in large cauldrons by each group of families in the street outside over a wood fire is SANCOCHO.... yucca and plantain soup, chicken stock or fish stock, served with a chunk of meat in each bowl.... mmmmm goood.

Also  available is mondongo, a tripe soup, not my favorite, of beef and potatoes.  I tried it and it's not bad but I'd rather have AJIACCO.

Cazuelas are single bowl soup/stews featuring chicken breast shredded and beans and rice.  Yummy on the list of Colombia's comfort foods.

Folks who have visited Colombia roll their eyes in delight when the women and/or
 the Ajiacco are mentioned.

Frijoles antiquenos, from the state of Antioquia, here in Medellin, are a pungent specialty, slow cooked red beans served as a Cazuela or with rice, accompanied by chorizo colombiano.

COLOMBIAN FOOD SOUNDS LIKE MEXICAN when you talk about beans and rice, and chorizo, but the beans are not refried and the rice compliments soups.  Also the food in NOT spicy.  Not even the chorizo.  You will not find a pepper shaker on the table.  You will find a red garlic slightly peppery sauce which few people use, but which I like very much.  It is not hot like tabasco but only slightly.

But even so, the food is not bland when you add local herbs and tomato or fruit salsa.  And it is cooked well and long.

Steaks are ubiquitous in all sorts of cuts.  My favorite is flank steak with a slight barbecue taste cooked medium rare on a grill.  But excellent more expensive cuts are available from local sources and Argentina.Alternatives are all sorts of salads and salads with chicken etc.  Avocados are served with everything as are arepas, maize pancakes.

Every kind of Ethnic food from Chinese to sushi to Italian to Peruvian is available and is very good.  And there's always McD's.

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