Ah, Colombian food. People hear those words and think of fresh fruits, spicy foods, and coffee. Fruits? Check. Mine typically come in the form of juice, and the juices truly are amazing. I’m never exactly sure what I’m drinking, but I’ve definitely had strawberry, pineapple, mango, passionfruit, melon, watermelon, and banana. Spicy foods? Never. One brand of hot sauce is sold in stores here (Louisiana), and pepper is hard to come by. Please send me some spices! Coffee? Chheeeeeckk? Read that one hesitantly. There is coffee here. Most people drink instant in their homes. I actually think the instant coffee here tastes good. BUT it’s hard for me to drink a hot cup of coffee here when it’s so hot, so I have been buying ground coffee and making cold press in the little French press I brought. There is not, like in the US, a 20′ run of coffee to choose from. The coffee is all Colombian, but none of it is fresh-ground and it comes in about 4 brands.
A typical breakfast for me consists of arepas, empanadas, or eggs. I typically drink the cold press that I am constantly in the process of making (my French press is a bit small, and cold press is a long process). The mornings when I’m out of coffee, my host mom gives me a cup of juice.
Lunch is the big meal of the day. Usually soup, a meat, rice, maybe a salad or veggie of some sort, and juice. I don’t think I’ve finished a lunch yet, because it’s so much food. I’ve asked to not eat soup for lunch every day – again, the heat! – but they are good. Now when I get soup for lunch, I am also given the fan to place directly next to me.
Dinner is a smaller meal, usually consisting again of empanadas, arepas, or pizza. I also love getting fast food out of the house for dinner (shh, don’t tell our Medical Officers, as this was on the recommended list of “things not to do in order to avoid diarrhea”). Fast food here consists of hot dogs (like ours only inside more bread and topped with lots of different stuff), salchipapas (French fries with a hot dog like meat and some sauces), picada (potatoes topped with various chunks of meat and some sauce), and the other things I’ve already mentioned, such as empananads, arepas, and pizza. The arepas here aren’t the ones I came to know and love at Hola Arepa in Minneapolis, where they are filled with delicious meats and toppings. Arepas here are typically eaten solo or stuffed with cheese. I don’t actually have any food pictures to share of the fast food, so you’ll just have to look it up (or imagine a plate that sorta looks like foreign nachos).