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Traditional Colombian food: baked snacks you need to try!

Traditional Colombian food
Sofía Machado

Sofía Machado

Colture editor but also architect, writer, dreamer, and adventurer. My mission is to tell stories that connect people and to discover, create and enjoy the amazing world we have the pleasure to live in. Instagram: sofiamm55

Talking about traditional Colombian food (aka the most amazing food ever) is like talking about happiness, endless tasty flavors, and amazing gastronomic experiences. That’s exactly what you’ll find when coming to Bogotá or any other part of the country. Within the gastronomic diversity, the baked snacks you can try here will probably be some of the best you’ll try in your life (mark my words!).

My relationship status will always be “in love with the food we have the pleasure to enjoy here in Colombia.” It’s no secret that Colombians love to eat; we have countless flavors that will make your mouth water within seconds. There’s a reason we are well known for our delicious fried food, pastries, and desserts (just to name a few), but I also have to give full credit to the delicious baked bread we have. It’s very popular and you can find it pretty much anywhere! And what’s better than bread (which is one of the most basic, simple, and delicious foods on the entire planet) to satisfy those cravings you have while touring around Bogotá?

So what are they? And why are they so delicious?

No Colombian’s life is complete without some good, freshly baked bread. We all grew up with these flavors on our table and they are an undeniable and very important part of our gastronomy. The baked bread is usually made with basic ingredients like flour, corn flour, eggs, and cheese, and some rare ones are made with yucca (cassava starch) or bocadillo (guava jam).

Colombian baked bread is usually enjoyed at any time of the day and it’s always a good idea to help satisfy hunger or small cravings (most of the different kinds come in small portions). Even with their mild taste, they will leave you pretty satisfied, I promise! There are three special moments of the day when Colombians typically enjoy baked bread the most: at breakfast, for “medias nueves” (mid-morning snack), and for “onces” (afternoon snack). And, as the name itself suggests, they are absolute heaven when they are fresh and hot (straight out of the oven).

Here are the most popular baked bread you NEED to try when coming:

SALTY

Almojábana (Cheese bread):

Its name comes from the Arabic word “almugábanna,” which means “the cheesy one” or “mixture made with cheese.” The basic ingredients of almojábanas are cuajada (fresh white cheese made with non-pasteurized milk) and cornmeal (the same one used to make arepas). They are very similar to pandebonos but the crucial difference is that almojánabas are made with cuajada and pandebonos are made with a different cheese.

Traditional Colombian food
© Photograph by Luisa Guerrero

Pan de yuca (Yucca bread):

My absolute favorite of all time because it reminds me of my childhood and my grandma who used to make them! Pan de yuca is basically made with yucca flour (cassava starch) and cheese. Its origin dates back to the pre-colonial times when indigenous tribes planted yucca and used it later for cooking. Its ideal texture is crispy; different from the almojábana that has a softer texture.

Pandebono (another type of cheese bread):

Very popular in el Valle del Cauca (where Cali is!), pandebonos have been around Colombian tables since the nineteenth century. Its most important ingredient is the yucca flour, but unlike the pan de yuca, it has precooked corn flour which gives it much more structure (just like almojábana). It has a very interesting variation made with bocadillo (sweet guava), so you can either enjoy it sweet or salty!

Roscones and pandebonos
© Photograph by Luis Barreto – Pandebono (left) / © Photograph by bonpain.co – Roscón (Right)

SWEET:

Roscón de bocadillo o arequipe (Sweet guava or caramel stuffed bread):

Absolute heaven on earth! Roscón is basically the Colombian version of donuts, but way bigger. It’s said that the roscón was brought by the Spaniards because it was already very typical there. It’s made from white flour and the filling can either be bocadillo or arequipe (both are absolutely delicious!). Eating a roscón definitely feels like having breakfast and dessert at the same time!

Mantecada (Butter cornbread or cake):

Very popular in Bogotá, mantecadas are always a safe choice if you have a sweet craving. Nobody knows for sure if the original recipe is from Europe or Latin America because it became popular on the Old  Continent after the introduction of corn, which, as you may know, comes from México. It’s basically made of white flour and butter and its texture is very spongy!

Traditional Colombian baked bread
© Photograph by digitalvortex.info – Mantecada (Left) / © Photograph by Pinterest – Mojicón (Right)

Mojicón (Colombian sweet rolls):

Another very popular baked bread in Bogotá. The fluffy and light texture of mojicón, along with its delicious taste, makes it a perfect all-day snack. They are prepared with a very fine dough, and their shape is usually like a flat cone decorated with a thin layer of sugar. Mojicón also has a version with bocadillo, which makes it sweeter and therefore, more enjoyable!

Last but not least, try any of these baked breads with a delicious coffee, a hot chocolate, a Pony Malta (a non-alcoholic soft drink based on malt), or a Colombiana, our most famous national soda (if you want to know more about some of these typical drink brands, read my article Famous Colombian food & drink brands you should try in Bogotá). If the baked bread is already exquisite, you really can’t imagine the taste when accompanied by any of these hot or cold drinks!

Where to eat all these delicious Colombian baked bread!

After all this amazing information which I know is making you very hungry (including me!), I recommend you go and try them now! But where? Pretty much in any panadería (bakery / read Food You’ll Find at the Bakeries in Bogotá to Fuel Your Day), pastelería (cake shop), and tienda (local shop), you’ll find any of these baked bread. You can also find them in local supermarkets, and even in some restaurants. However, my best advice is to stay as local as possible, because this is how the original flavor, passed through generations, is preserved. I can’t name all the tiendas, panaderías or pastelerías where you can try them because the list would never end, but to help you out, try El Chocolo (they have several locales around the city) or Pan Pa Ya!

Onces, chocolate con queso y pan
© Photograph by Pinterest

These baked breads are not expensive at all, in fact, one of their best traits is that they are pretty cheap (depending on where you buy them though). Usually, they will cost between $1.000 – $5.000 COP /$0.31 – 1.55 USD.

Our gastronomy is one of the best things we offer to the world and the savory baked bread we have the pleasure to enjoy is just an example of it! You can’t ever go wrong with them, so what are you waiting for!? Also, read our articles Traditional Colombian Desserts and Sweets and Best foods you must try in Bogotá to know more about our gastronomy.

Was this article useful? Do you know more cool stuff about Colombian delicacies? Or maybe an experience you would like to share? Please share and/or comment on this article, and visit our homepage Colture to take a look at my articles and many others to find more essential information about Bogotá before and during your trip.

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