My Culinary Trip to Colombia – Part 2

It’s been over a month since I first posted Part 1 of my Culinary Trip to Colombia. Last time, I started off by sharing what, traditionally, Colombian food is all about. Arepas, delicious potato-based soups and coffee were among the list of foods I introduced you to. This time around, we are traveling a few years ahead in time as I invite you to see how traditional Colombian food has evolved, while keeping its use of timeless ingredients and flavours.

Let’s start off with one of the best executions I saw of Colombian Choclo. The Choclo Trout.

Culinary Trip to Colombia Part 2

Choclo Trout

Choclo is a very small sweet maize (corn). Corn-based dishes are part of our tradition and corn in itself is widely used across Colombia, next to plantains of course…but we will get to them in a bit. Originally, corn was a grain domesticated by indigenous people in Mexico, which later spread all over the Americas. Given that some of our most renowned Colombian staples use corn; it is without a doubt that its modernization was to become a natural evolution in Colombian gastronomy.

Choclo Trout is simply a grilled trout that has been cooked and seasoned using choclo mixed with a tomato and dill based sauce and then baked with fresh white cheese on top. Simple, yet innovative. The use of the choclo in the sauce masked the fishy taste of the trout while giving it a rather sweet flavour. Who would have ever thought of sweet fish? oh yes, that will be us.

Colombia, being the second largest producer of plantains in the world, has made this ingredient not only a staple but a tradition. In modern Colombian cuisine I discovered two new ways in which plantains were being used. The first one is a plantain pizza; otherwise known as Pataqueso.

Culinary Trip to Colombia Part 2

Pataqueso

Pataqueso is the new thing (or at least it was for me) that restaurants are introducing to their menus. They use green plantains, mash them together into a large round form and then fried them until golden and toasty. Then, a delicious layer of melted white or mozzarella cheese is added on top, seasoned with salt, pepper and dried oregano. Ooey-gooey goodness. 

The second way in which I found restaurants using plantains is as a pastry, while keeping its natural use in salty dishes. It is with delight that I present to you Marranitas.

Culinary Trip to Colombia Part 2

Marranitas

Marranitas, which translates as “female pigs”, are fried plantains that have been battered and filled with pork. But not any kind of pork, we are talking about good old bacon. The difference being that the bacon is diced and not sliced like you would usually have it at breakfast. The Marranitas come with a traditional Colombian dipping sauce called Hogao. The sauce is made with yellow and green onions, tomatoes, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper that are sauteed during the cooking process. Exquisite.

As always with food, I look for ways to twist the ingredients to make them taste even better. Being a fan of Suero, also known as buttermilk, I decided to use this instead of the traditional Hogao sauce, and boy did it make a difference.

Culinary Trip to Colombia Part 2

Marranitas

The density and sweetness of the milk, combined with the saltiness (and greasiness) of the plantain and pork gave this dish such a soothing effect to my palate; needless to say it was the reason why my jeans didn’t fit me afterward…go figure.

Reminiscing part 1 of this culinary trip, and thinking about the evolution of Colombian food, using traditional ingredients like plantain and corn, one can not help but wonder how one can pair this food with a nice glass of Pinot or Cab Sauv. It is as such that Colombians have created our own way of having alcohol with our heavy meals. A Lulada is definitely one way.

Culinary Trip to Colombia Part 2

Lulada

Lulada comes from the name Lulo, which is a typical Colombian fruit that tastes like a mixture of orange, pineapple and kiwi. It is rare and unique and only grows in Colombia. A Lulada is Lulo juice with a shot of vodka or rum. The key to Lulada is to leave the center of the fruit rest right at the bottom. This way, the taste of the juice is not overpowered by the alcohol. Quite sneaky actually as the alcohol is disguised, and only after having two of these you realize you are not longer drinking just juice.

And so we come to the end of Part 2 of my gastronomy trip to Colombia.

 

Until next time Foodies!

 

Buen Provecho,
Foodies Inked.

 

Location: Bogota, Colombia
Food: Choclo Trout, Pataqueso, Marranitas and Lulada
Venues: Tienda Club Colombia, El Humero
Theme: Modern-Traditional

2 Responses to My Culinary Trip to Colombia – Part 2

  1. Foodies Inked March 21, 2011 at 2:45 am

    Unfortunately I do not think you can find them here in TO. However, if you are in the mood for some Colombian food, I recommend you try Mi Tierra on Dufferin and St. Clair. Its as close as you will get to Colombian food :)

    Reply
  2. Mark W. March 18, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Can you get Marranitas anywhere in Toronto? I would love to try them!

    Reply

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