Traveling to a new city allows a person to learn about the local people, the culture and traditions more closely. Also, exploring the traditional food like a Bandeja Paisa is something every traveler looks forward to while going to a new place.

The food is a vital part of any culture. By exploring the local cuisine, you get to learn about the preferences of the people and the history of different influences that shaped the cuisine. You learn how the climate influences the eating habits of people in a particular region.

The food also reflects the local agricultural production that is grown in abundance. For example, the major crops produced in Colombia include coffee, bananas, rice and corn which are the main ingredients in most of the traditional Colombian dishes.

What does Bandeja Paisa mean?

Bandeja Paisa translates to the ‘tray for paisa’. The term paisa is used to refer to the people of Antioquia region.

You will easily find the Bandeja Paisa in Medellin.

This dish tops the must-try food list of Medellin. It is one of the most important dishes in the Colombian cuisine.

What are the ingredients of a Bandeja Paisa?

The most popular Colombian food ingredients include plantain, rice, avocado, corn, and beef among others. Invariably, Bandeja paisa consists of all these ingredients.

It typically made with 9 ingredients which are – rice, red beans, plantain, beef, chorizo i.e., is pork sausage, avocado, chicharron i.e., pork rinds, arepa, and egg.

The beef is cooked with seasonings and then prepared into a powder consistency. The plantains, eggs, and chorizos are fried separately. The chicharron or the pork belly is cooked with salt, baking powder, and water.

The three types of meat, eggs and the plantain are then served on a platter with the white rice, arepa, a sliced avocado and the red beans. It is garnished with some lemon and is usually served with the Hogao, a type of sauce made with onion, tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, and spices. You usually get the option to pair the dish with a salad or juice at a restaurant.

As you can already tell by its ingredients, it is a heavy, high-calorie dish.

Bandeja Paisa is a feast in itself. It is a powerhouse meal, filled with protein and carbohydrates. This dish will keep you full for the entire day, which actually was its original purpose. In earlier days, agricultural workers would consume this meal to gain the energy to work in the fields for the whole day.

What is Colombian cuisine like?

Colombian food is really filling and is typically made with fewer spices. Arepas and stews are part of a regular Colombian meal and ingredients like rice, beans, potatoes, yucca, corn, and meat are staples in the Colombian diet.

There is a lot of diversity in food within Colombia itself. You will find many variations in the local food while going from one region to the other in Colombia.

Colombian cuisine has a dull reputation in comparison to its Latin American counterparts, i.e., Mexican or Peruvian cuisine. However, there are many Colombian dishes that are famous all over the world and attract numerous tourists each year.

One such iconic dish is Bandeja Paisa. Bandeja Paisa is a popular traditional Colombian dish, originated from the Antioquia region. This region includes Medellin, the second largest city in Colombia.

By now, you are probably thinking you won’t be able to finish this monstrous dish at one go. Well, you have nothing to worry about. Although typically it is served in a tray with a huge portion, you can definitely find many variations of the dish in terms of the size and the ingredients.

Do not let the size and heaviness of the dish overwhelm you and keep you from trying this iconic dish during your stay in Medellin. It is not every day that you get to try an enormous meal like Bandeja Paisa.

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