Colombian Gastronomy on a Plate: Bandeja Paisa in Bogotá

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Bandeja Paisa in Bogotá

Valeria Garbin

If you want to try Colombian gastronomy on your visit to Bogotá, you have to try “Bandeja Paisa,” one of the most typical Colombian dishes that will leave you full (believe me), but wishing for more.

Colombian gastronomy is full of flavour and amazing ingredients. Proof of this is a Colombian typical dish called “Bandeja paisa”, a dish with so many components which mix so incredibly well that it will make you rethink how much is too much. This dish is typical from Antioquia, a region from northwest Colombia, but you can find it easily in the capital. Even if it is not a typical dish from Bogotá, it’s so colombian that everyone, in any region, loves it! And believe me, you will not regret trying it! This article will take you through each element of the dish and leave you wanting to try it right away, so prepare to have a craving for “Bandeja paisa” without having tasted it yet.

Powdered meat

Yes, you read that right: powdered meat is one of the important parts of the “Bandeja paisa”. It is made from cooked and seasoned beef passed through the food processor, leaving a powder full of flavor and ideal to mix with the other dish components.

If you would not prefer not to eat your meat in powder form, and you think it will be too weird, you can order this dish with a steak, although the traditional way is with the meat made into dust.

Rice

People always say that each civilization or country has a basic cereal, like the western world has wheat, and the Mexicans and Latino Americans have corn. In the case of Colombia, I think there are two, first corn obviously, but also rice is a fundamental part of their food.

There is a popular Colombian phrase that says “if there is rice, there is lunch” (Si hay arroz, hay almuerzo). And it is true, it is very rare to see a Colombian lunch without rice, so this typical dish could not be the exception. The white rice from the “Bandeja paisa”  is fundamental to mix of the other ingredients.

Beans

In addition, this dish has pinto beans stewed with onion, tomato, carrot and sometimes pork hocks, which leave soft and soaked beans that mix perfectly with rice and powdered meat. Already craving this dish? Wait there’s more, much more.

Chicharrón!

Chicharrón is something that you will have to try in Colombia, it is eaten as an entrée or as a snack, but it is also an important part of this great dish. It is fried pork belly Colombian-style!, fried perfection, need I say more?  

Chorizo

As if it were not enough, this dish also has chorizo, a type of pork sausage that you’ve probably heard of before asit is typical in many Hispanic countries, but they are all different, and the Colombian chorizo has something special, you will see.

Avocado, arepa, plátano and fried egg

Last but not least, the “Bandeja paisa” tops everything else we have seen, with a piece of avocado, fried sweet plantain, arepa (typical cornbread) and a fried egg!

A heavenly mix

Don’t you think this mix sounds wonderful? In this case, too much does not exist right? I mean, meat, beans, rice, avocado, chicharrón, arepa, egg, chorizo, I almost would like if there were more!

Now that you know what “Bandeja paisa” is, I’m sure you’re dying to try it. Do not worry, when you come to Colombia you’ll find it in many places.

In Bogotá, for example, you can eat a good “Bandeja paisa” even if it is not a typical dish from Bogotá. Since the capital is so big and diverse, you will find Colombian gastronomy from all regions, that`s one of the beauties of it:the taste of all of Colombia in one city. In Bogotá, you can try this amazing dish in: Comedorcito Paisa (comedorcitopaisa.com),  Andrés (www.andrescarnederes.com), El consulado paisa, El poblado, and many others.

A bandeja paisa can cost you between 25.000 and 40.000 colombian pesos ($8 -13 USD). I recommend that you eat this dish for lunch because it’s a pretty heavy dish, as you can tell by its ingredients! It’s a perfect lunch to give you all the energy to continue touring Bogotá and be full until dinner! Or even until breakfast the next day. And if you want to make this experience even more Colombian, you should eat it accompanied by a tropical fruit juice like lulo or maracuyá.

Would you like to try this dish? Share your opinions with us, what else would you like to try in Colombia? Go to our website and you will find many other articles that will leave you excited to come to this incredible country. The Bandeja paisa and many other wonderful things await you!

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