COLOMBIA

The Tricolor Nacional flag represents independence from Spain in 1810.
COUNTRYCOLOMBIA
DishesAreppas, Cholado Colombiano
Time 1 hour
Effort 7/10
Rough cost £7
COUNTRY COLOMBIA
Capital Bogota
Population 50,372,424 (28th)
Land mass 1,141,748 km2 (25th)
Languages Spanish
Religions88.6% Christian

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Colombia is a transcontinental country, with territory in both South and North America. It is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse countries in the world, reflecting its rich heritage from American, European, African and Middle Eastern influences. The country has been occupied by indigenous people since at least 12,000 BCE!

Its cuisine reflects this cultural richness and dishes vary from region to region. Staple ingredients include: rice, maize, potato, cassava, chicken and goat and fish! It also uses many colourful tropical fruits, most of which we can’t get in the UK. Bridget made the classic street food dish Arepas with guacamole, which are a very traditional carb served with a range of meals. Mwara made Cholado Colombiano which incorporates Colombia’s amazing selection of fruit into a delicious iced dessert. YUM!

Hope you are all doing well.

RECIPES

Cholado Colombiano

INGREDIENTS

  • Ice
  • 1 cup strawberries, diced
  • 1 cup banana, sliced
  • 1 cup pineapple, diced
  • 1 cup mango, diced
  • Sweet condensed milk, to taste
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • To serve: maraschino cherries, straws

Passion Fruit Syrup

  • 2 cups fresh passion fruit insides
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 3/4 cup of sugar

Berry Syrup

  • 2 cups Colombian blackberries (just pick some brambles from near you!)
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 3/4 cup of sugar

METHOD

  1. Prepare all fruit to bite size and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
  2. To make the syrups: Combine water, fruit pulp and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Keep cooking the mixture until the sugar is dissolved, and there is a thick mixture. Let the syrup cool in the refrigerator  before using.
  4. Assemblage: Crush the ice in a blender or food processor.
  5. Put you serving glasses on a work surface. Add 1/2 cup of crushed iced, drizzle passion fruit syrup and berry syrup over ice. Add some condensed milk on top.
  6. Place 1 pile of fruit on top of the ice. Drizzle more condensed milk on top of the fruit. Garnish with shredded coconut and a cherry. YUM!

Arepas (with guacamole)

INGREDIENTS

Arepas

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 heaped tsp sea salt
  • 2 cup areparina (a.k.a. masarepa – I couldn’t get this so I mixed corn flour with polenta to give a textured, lovely yellow colour dough!)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil, veg oil or vegan butter for cooking 

Guacamole

  • 2 avocados, mashed up
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh chilli, finely chopped
  • 15 cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, finely diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lime, juice of

METHOD

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C). Add to a large mixing bowl, the water and salt. Stir to combine and dissolve salt. 
  • A little at a time, add the areparina (or whatever you are using and stir with your hands. Work all the rest of the flour in, although be intuitive here. You’re looking for a dough that doesn’t easily stick to your hands, is moldable and moist, and can be rolled into a ball. Add more flour if its too wet or water if too dry. Once you have that consistency, cover with a towel for 5 minutes.
  • Uncover, grab a large handful of dough, and roll into a golf-ball sized ball.  
  • Carefully press the ball between the palms of your hands to form into a roughly 1/2-inch thick disc (for thinner, crispier arepas, press closer to 1/4 inch).
  • Heat your oil of choice in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Then add arepas, giving them a little room in between so they don’t touch. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until deep golden brown. You’re looking to form a crust. Then flip and cook for 2-3 minutes more or until the underside is also browned.
  • Transfer to an oiled baking sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes or until slightly puffed up and a little more golden brown in color. 
  • To enjoy, slice in half and enjoy as is, spread both sides with vegan butter – YUM! You can also cut the arepa 3/4 of the way around, leaving a seam on the edge so you can “stuff” it like a pita. Fillings could include everything from beans to guacamole.
  • To make the guac: mix all the ingredients well and serve with the warm arepas.
  • Best when fresh!

Gracias and see you in Comoros! M + B x

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