Colombian cuisine may not have the world’s attention, but when travelling to Medellin or the Coffee Region you’ll think that it does. Paisas, those from the state of Antioquia, are some of the most passionate proponents of Colombian cuisine. And their range of local Antioquian cuisine could be the reason why. It’s hearty, filling, and, so flavorful that you’ll be raving about it as much as the Paisas by trip’s end. Here’s a primer on what dishes to dig into during your tour of Medellin and the coffee region of Colombia.
1. Bandeja Paisa
The first thing you need to know about this dish is that it’s the pride and joy of Antioquian cusine. Served on a tray with heaping portions of red beans, rice, avocado, plantains, fried pork belly, blood sausage, and arepas, it’s the perfect introduction to Antioquia’s food culture. One thing’s for sure, you’ll want to order this hearty dish on an empty stomach.
Mondongo is an Antioquian tripe soup, usually made with cow or pig’s stomach, slow-cooked vegetables, and coriander served alongside a plate of rice, ground meat, avocado, bananas, and arepas. Yes, this dish is a little on the adventurous side and yes it’s a lot of food on one plate, but it’s definitely worth a try during your visit to Medellin, just plan to dig in after your private tour of the city.
3. Cazuela de Frijoles
If tripe soup doesn’t sound appetizing to you, perhaps cazuela de frijoles will. This popular lunch and dinnertime dish is essentially Antioquian beans served in a bowl with rice, fried pork belly, chorizo, plantains, avocados, and arepas. Beans are a staple in the Antioquian diet and this is one of the best ways to enjoy them during your trip to Medellin or the coffee region.
It’s true that you’ll find these cheesy fried dough balls at nearly every stop on your Colombia tour, but the Antioquian version is worth a special mention. Their texture and flavor is mouthwateringly unique, as more than a few Buñuelerías in Antioquia have mastered the ideal consistency and mixture of cheese. Buñuelos are the perfect grab-and-go snack between meals or for a quick foodie adventure between events on your Colombia itinerary. Just be sure to order a fresh one.
5. Tinto Campesino
No list of Antioquian cuisine would be complete without a mention of coffee. Here it is: tinto campesino. This black coffee drink is brewed with agua de panela (unrefined cane sugar water), cinnamon, and clove. It’s so good that even the staunch black coffee, no sugar drinkers, find themselves ordering it again and again on their Colombia trip.
Which of these Antioquian cuisine favorites will you be trying on your custom Colombia tour? The world of food and drink in Colombia is vast and this post only covered one region. Up next, we’ll be featuring the must-try cuisines of the Colombia coast.