When you are riding your bike through Columbia, you are going to find an array of rich cuisine. With the geographical differences and immigrant influences, Columbian food is some of the most diverse in the world. You will find exotic food, comfort food and even some dishes that are not for the faint of heart.
Sweet corn is grown throughout all of Latin America and used in dozens of recipes. In Columbia it is combined with potatoes to make a rich and savory soup. Using a blend of herbs indigenous to the landscape, fresh grown corn and local milk – Ajiaco – potato and corn soup is the perfect starter for your Columbian supper.
Of course on every dinner table there should be a plate or basket full of some type of bread. In most Latin American countries, this would be tortillas, but in Columbia it is the Aborrajado. Instead of corn or even wheat, Columbians use a sweet plantain to adorn the table. Cut and stuffed with cheese, the banana like fruit is then dipped in batter and placed inside of a deep fryer until golden brown. The instant heat from the deep fryer melts the cheese to perfection, and cooks the plantain without it falling apart. Even if you are just looking for a snack during your Columbian travels, this will hit the spot.
Truly unique to Columbia is a side of rice cooked with raisins and Coca Cola. Using the soda instead of water creates an interestingly sweet rice that gets balanced by the use of onion. You can have rice anywhere, but not quite as different as this Columbian side.
Columbians have an unusual method for cooking cuts of prime beef as well. Lomo al trapo is beef tenderloin that is covered in salt and a towel and then roasted directly on top of hot coals. The end result is a steak full of natural flavor that has retained its tenderness.
Again using sweet corn, Columbians make a cake-like dessert that is really too creamy to call cake, but too solid to call pudding. Torta de choclo with a fresh cup of local Columbian coffee is the ideal ending to your Columbian feast.
A large part of embarking on a trip like an Andes tour is getting the opportunity to indulge in local foods and customs. While there is going to be a familiar fast food chain restaurant here and there, the better way to enjoy the trip is by fully immersing yourself in the country and its traditions. Make it a point to enjoy a new experience with each bite to eat, and your foray into South America will be a treat for all the senses.