Colombian cuisine - from aguardiente to viche
April 24th, 2013
02:15 PM ET
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World-renowned chef, author and Emmy winning television personality Anthony Bourdain visits Colombia in the next episode of "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," airing Sunday, April 28, at 9 p.m. ET. Follow the show on Twitter and Facebook.

Come to Colombia for the coffee, tropical climate and charming people; stay for the arepas, fresh fruit, abundant seafood, breakfast soups and powerful liquor.

This week, Anthony Bourdain touches down in a country best known to outsiders in recent decades as a nexus for drug trade and the accompanying violence. Instead, he finds a diverse, thoughtful, welcoming community, eager to move past the stereotypes and usher in a more positive and accurate image of the land they love.

In addition to its much-beloved canon of dishes, and evolving restaurant scene, chefs like Tomás Rueda of Bogota's Tabula and Donostia restaurants see the bounty of Colombia's wide-ranging terrain as one of its greatest assets. He tells Bourdain that the region, which includes mountains, valleys and the sea is "like a big farm, to send produce to the world."

"I believe more in a beautiful carrot than a great recipe," Rueda explained. But in Colombia, neither is in short supply.

Explore Anthony Bourdain's favorite places to eat and drink in Colombia:

Puerta Falsa
Calle 11 - Bogota, Colombia

La Plaza de Mercado de Paloquemao (pictured at the top)
Calle 19-25 - Bogota, Colombia

Tabula
C11 29 Bis #5-90 - Bogota, Colombia

Club Social Los Amigos
Calle 49 / 8A-23 - Cali, Colombia

Sevichería Guapi
CRA 24 # 13-18 - Cali, Colombia

Mercado Del Chivo
Riohacha, La Guajira - Colombia

Mar Azul Restaurante
Mayapo, Guajira - Colombia

Dive into the food and drinks that Bourdain and guests enjoy in the episode:

Aguardiente
Italy imbibes sambuca, Greece guzzles ouzo, Spain sips anís and in Colombia, drinkers get their anisette liquor fix with aguardiente. This clear, strong, sugarcane-based liquor essentially translates as "firewater" and is not for the faint of heart or liver.

Arepas
These unleavened corn cakes are ubiquitous in Colombian cuisine and can accompany any meal of the day. They're usually grilled, griddle-cooked or fried and depending on the region, may come with butter, stuffed or topped with meat, cheese, eggs or other fillings, or even eaten plain as a snack. They're essentially the national bread.

Caldo de Costilla
All that aguardiente does not come without repercussions. Luckily, the Colombian people are firm believers in this hearty Andean breakfast soup, made by simmering beef short ribs in an oily broth with potatoes, salt and scallions. This, Bourdain says, is hangover food.

Cazuela de Mariscos
Got fish? Colombia is a country with coastlines that kiss both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as well as other bounteous bodies of water. This particular dish is a love letter to seafood, featuring shrimp, clams, lobster and conch in a potato-thickened broth. It's served with lemon, coconut rice, plantain, hot sauce and a long, face-down nap on the beach afterward.

Changua
Feeling under the weather? This hearty breakfast soup, made with eggs and scallions, lightly poached in milk and water and garnished with cilantro is good for what ails you. There's also a hunk of stale bread to soak up the remainder of whatever's troubling you and a dose of cheese, if that's what the doctor ordered. Bourdain likens it to a Tuscan bread soup.

Chocolate Completo
Many would argue that chocolate is a complete meal in and of itself. In Colombia, it's served in cocoa form with hard cheese and buttered bread to dunk into the chocolate. Hail Colombia!

Friche
One thing about Wayuu cuisine: it'll really get your goat. In fact, it uses up herds of them at a time. In this traditional breakfast dish - generally served right next to the slaughter yard for maximum freshness - goat offal like heart, intestines and tripe is cooked in salted water, then fried with onions, seasoned with lemon and chiles and served with arepas for a sturdy start to the day. Some preparations also include salted goat blood.

Malta
It might look for all the world like a beer (which is certainly plentiful throughout Colombia), but this particular beverage is only a chastely kissing cousin to its alcoholic counterpart. It's a malt-based, carbonated beverage that's essentially non-fermented beer and enjoyed by children and adults alike. Malta is made and marketed under many different brand names around the world, but the hometown champ is bottled under the "Pony" label.

While we're talking soft drinks, Kola Román is a fizzy, red Cartagena classic and La Colombiana is a neon-orange, tooth-crackingly sweet tamarind-flavored soda. Toss some cut-up fruit into a glass, pour some of that orange stuff over it and you've got a refreshing Salpicón de Frutas.

Piangua
This rock mollusk harvested from the mangroves of Colombia's Pacific coast pops up in everything from tamales to stews. It's central to the economy of that region, but potentially faces extinction due to overfishing and unsustainable harvesting practices.

Picada Colombiana
When this giant platter of meats - like chicken, steak, chorizo (sausage) and morcilla (blood sausage) - and starch-heavy arepas, plantains, yuca and potatoes shows up at a celebration, conversation ceases and people get munching. Most elements tend to be fried. This is not a light snack.

Plantains
This starchy cousin to the banana is ubiquitous in Colombian cooking, and cooked differently depending on the fruit's ripeness from green to in between to sweet and yellow. Popular preparations include patacones (thick, flattened, twice-fried green plantains), tajadas (fried in strips like French fries), maduros (sweet and browned in oil) and used as a base for soup.

Potatoes
From sancocho (a hearty, potato-based stew) and caldo de papa (clear meat broth with potatoes) to potato-stuffed empanadas and ajiaco (thick potato soup, stewed with pulled chicken, corn and three types of potatoes), Colombians have nothing short of a love affair with spuds. Read an awful lot more about that here.

Seviche
Many South American countries swear by seviche (often spelled "ceviche") as a flavorful and heat-free way to prepare fresh fish. But where many recipes depend on a citrus marinade to "cook" raw seafood, the local Cali variation involves a slather of mayonnaise, ketchup, onions and Worcestershire sauce over cooked shrimp. As Bourdain, says, it's "essentially a 70s shrimp cocktail" and it's served with soda crackers.

Tamales
This slow-cooked, leaf-wrapped cake takes many forms around Central and South America, but in Colombia, the wrapper is banana or plantain leaves rather than the corn husks found in other regions. They're often larger, heavier and wetter than their Mexican counterparts, and may contain rice, pork belly, chicken, beef, carrots, peas, nuts, seeds - or no fillings other than their essential masa dough core.

Viche
This is aguardiente's country cousin - minus the anise, but still made from fermented sugarcane. This often homemade "rural firewater" is a frequent wingman on long nights of dancing, fried starch and general revelry.

In the words of Bourdain's companions, gesturing to the remains of a stomach-stretching seviche and patacone feast, "It's the best way to handle...this."

Salud!

Read more:
Americans just don't understand the potato. Colombians do.
Colombian cuisine – from aguardiente to viche
The ever-changing flavor of L.A.'s Koreatown
Fall in love with Myanmar's cuisine

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Filed under: Bite • Colombian • Content Partner • Cuisines • Parts Unknown • Think • Travel • Video


soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. personal training Long Island

    Cazuela de Mariscos and Chocolate Completo are awesome Colombian foods. I love Colombian cuisine.

    January 14, 2014 at 9:32 pm | Reply
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    August 30, 2013 at 3:05 am | Reply
  3. Jonathan

    Believe it or not but Colombia has much more to drink than "Poker" and Aguardiente. Anthony Bourdain could have filmed a show on different foods such as arepas, fruits and juices from different regions. Since he was in Bogota why not show traditional Colombian dishes such as ajiaco. It was nice to see Mr. Bourdain visit Riohacha as it is not too well known. Instead of visiting Miraflores I would rather Mr. Bourdain show some hidden gems such as Villa de Leyva or Salento and so forth. If he was adamant on showing a region from the Amazon why not visit Letica? It is sad but most people from the U.S. picture Colombia as a battleground full of drug cartels. Does Colombia have problems? Sure, every country does. Colombia gets enough bad press that it would have been nice for Mr. Bourdain to focus on locations that would help change the image of Colombia from the 1980's and 1990's. A lot has changed over the last 30 years. Regardless, it was nice watching a television show on Colombia that did not focus on Pablo Escobar.

    PS: I agree that Colombians in general are extremely proud of their country and are some of the hospitable people I have met.

    May 18, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Reply
  4. Carolina Castro

    You drove on of those motor bikes at the deserts of my country???? OMG, awesome I wanna try but without falling haha great reporting the one you did.

    May 6, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  5. Angelik from NY

    Anthony Thank you to show the world the "real" Colombia. The authentic food, the most original places around it. I'm very proud to be COLOMBIAN. Thanks for trying all types of meals, all of them are just DELICIOUS ! Go back and show more! Mua! :)

    April 30, 2013 at 10:27 am | Reply
  6. Lina

    I have very mixed feelings about the show. I was very disappointed that only the slums were shown and that an area such as Miraflores was put on the show. Lets face it Anthony went to Miraflores to get a look at what used to be and there was nothing there for him to comment on other than our past. The show is called Parts Unknown, guess what everyone knows about the past with drugs why not show things that are really unknown. Colombia is an amazing country with many things to offer why not travel to La Sierra Nevada or the small colonial towns in the coffee region? There is more to Colombia than the slums, every country has them, and while they make for good TV it is not what people want to see when they are thinking of visiting a new country. Lets face it Anthony when you travel to other countries with your family do you look to stay in the slums? I do not ask that you show the cosmopolitan cities all I ask is that you show the beautiful towns that make up this great country and that you talk about the parts that are Unknown such as the flora and fauna, the lush mountains, the variety of climates, etc. What you got right was how proud people are of Colombia as it is an amazing country.

    April 30, 2013 at 10:02 am | Reply
  7. Carol

    And shame on CNN for showing this garbage!

    April 29, 2013 at 9:39 pm | Reply
  8. Carol

    I have been to Colombia over 12 times, and been to several different cities and towns. I could not believe that the only places that Anthony Bourdain could find were slums and ghettos. Colombia is a beautiful country and one of the only things he got right is that the people are warm and welcoming, and the food is good. I can think of so many places to eat – the cazuela del mar en Giradot, la mamono en Villavicencio, las empanadas, las aprepas de huevo en Cartagena, las almojabanas de Paipa, and I could go on and on! Why the hell did he have to go to slums for these delicious dishes?!?!? Colombia is a country that receives enough bad publicity. Anthony Bourdain has only made the perception of Colombia worse. He visited a beautiful country which has had a bad rap, and made it worse by showing only slums and people waiting for beer. As a self-proclaimed coke addict and crackhead, maybe that's where he hangs out, but the vast majority of Colombia is not about cocaine or slums or beer. Get a grip on reality, Anthony!

    April 29, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Reply
    • James Lindzey (Colombian Gringo)

      Anthony went to great restuarants to find authentic food. Good food doesnt need to be in the Zona Rosa.

      The story was well balanced and he explained well that Colombia has gone a long way, and that its safe.

      Honestly i have lived here 8 years, and Colombia has gone a long way. Colombia is making progress, but the past is still there, and there still problems, but they are similar to many other large cities in the world.

      He did a good job explaining this and made the story well balanced. Fine dining is just making its way into Colombia, but hey man this show is about authentic food.

      I love the trips to the poor neighborhoods. Most of the restaurants in the zona rosas in Medellin and Bogota are not really anything spectacular. 2 out of 10 are high quality, the rest are just regular, so how can anyone criticize this show for going to poor neighborhoods? The downtown area in Bogota is getting redone. HEck i say they went to luxury, authentic and poor neighborhoods. Sorry to the Colombians that are upset but to only show the zona rosa restaurants does not portray the real Colombia. Americans want to see authentic dining, they don't want to see what they have in every shopping mall in the states!

      Colombia has real chefs from around the world that are coming back to Colombia from overseas.

      Just recently a new restaurant from a New Orleans chef opened up in Envigado. Great food.

      Colombia is developing, the nice parts of town have all the amenities you find in developed countries, yes 20+ Megabytes of internet, HBO, SHOWTIME, wifi, hotwater, drinkable water, doormen, 24 hour security and beautiful friendly people,

      Wait did I mention, the economy NEVER CRASHED! CRAP, can you believe that, since 2005 its been going up up up....

      By the way Medellin has spring weather year round, and is the cleanest city in South America, with the best health care in the Country. Sould i say more?

      April 29, 2013 at 10:21 pm | Reply
      • Gonzalo Herrera

        very good comment is really there to show authentic food and not sold in the mall that is a copy of the gringo meals or other countries.

        lo que tenemos que esforzarnos es en ser autenticos colombianos y no ser unos copiones de los gringos o de los europeos

        May 3, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Reply
    • Yamile

      Carol I completely agree with You. I'm glad other Americans see Colombia as a treasure to be discovered.

      July 27, 2013 at 11:04 am | Reply
  9. Claudia

    The only way to really know this amazing country is visiting it. Diverse and delicious food, marvelous weather and nice people. When staying in Bogota, you could travel one hour down to a hotter place or one hour up to a colder site. Bonus: Having the amazing mountains view.

    April 29, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  10. juan

    hey i saw the show , and recorded it , it was amazing!! as a colombian in texas , i feel a little bit lost between Mexican and Chinese food , not hate it, just saying! , whatching the show reminds me why i love my country!! with all of its problems its a true paradise!!!!!!! anyway i want to know if theres any way that i can own the episode?? any dvd is coming out? or i can find it on itunes??

    April 29, 2013 at 11:51 am | Reply
  11. stevenbeto

    So, Bourdain. It used to be that your rig only tipped and rolled over you on the steepest slopes, now you're getting the wrinkles ironed out of you on table flat terrain. Before long, you won't even have to fire up the rig before falling off if this keeps up. When you siphon off the gas, it's best not to swallow.

    April 29, 2013 at 11:41 am | Reply
  12. leemiles

    As a norteamericano who has spent the last 35 years in Colombia I can second (or third) the comments that compliment Anthony Bourdain on providing, finally, a take on Colombia that doesn't harp on dope and violence. And I suspect that his comment on Colombians being the most welcoming people he has met in the Americas may be right on the the money.

    I can't quite understand the acidity and hostility of many of the comments above. It is not really surprising that the single-hour Anthony Bourdain segment on Colombia is not perfect, nor comprehensive. We can all insist that we know more about some food he hasn't mentioned or a city he didn't visit. But it is refreshing to have an upbeat and quirky take on Colombia and its food, a subject on which you can spend a lifetime and never plumb the depths.
    If you are coming this way, come to Cartagena. Here is a list of things to try: Corozo juice, lulo juice. Try an empanada con huevo, and try to find a really local viuda de carne salada, or mote de ñame con queso. For dessert, pie de mamey; and then dance at Bar Havana. Please don't drink quite as much as the boys from the Secret Service.

    April 28, 2013 at 10:16 pm | Reply
    • James Lindzey

      Yes and if you are getting it on like the secret service in Colombia, just remember prostitution is legal, and if you dont pay they will call the police. FYI they might work a tourist, and triple the price on you when it comes time to pay. might have been what happened to the secret service guy. Thats common practice in Cartegena. As you can imagine its not a highly regulated industry, so play at your own risk!

      Avoid getting sick on the coast::
      Drink bottled water on the coast, medellin and bogota, water is normal tap water.

      April 28, 2013 at 10:24 pm | Reply
      • Juan23

        Is also legal in Amstedam

        April 29, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Reply
    • john

      After visiting Columbia over 6 times in last 10 years I can vouch for most of what Anthony said, as well: people and culture the most hospitable and proud country to ever visit,and yes they welcome you w/ open arms. Just be aware of your surroundings as you would your first time in NYC as well.
      Hey does anyone know the name of teh artists that played the background intrumental music in this episode:
      Absolutelt intrigiueing textural Columbian latin grooves;l would buy the CD right now!' Thank if anyone knows where to get the music included in this episode. thank you john

      April 28, 2013 at 10:31 pm | Reply
      • xirume

        It's COLOMBIA

        April 29, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Reply
      • bro

        C O L O M B I A , with an O not a U

        April 29, 2013 at 7:02 pm | Reply
      • Liliana garcia

        Is COLOMBIA not Columbia

        April 29, 2013 at 9:18 pm | Reply
      • Samir

        I just bought their CD on iTunes... It's amazing... They're called "Ondatropica"

        April 30, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Reply
  13. James Lindzey

    Keep it up Anthony, yes legalization is the only way to solve the violence and choke off the international mafias and corrupt politicians that pollute central, south and north america.

    The show had a great balance between social, political issues that taint Colombians past and future development. BUT MOST IMPORTANT, the RICH and friendly culture of colombia, is very strong. A few areas on border towns are dangerous, and out of the reach. Popular tourist areas are very very safe.

    Colombia has just entered a boom phase in the economy. Its a great time to be here!

    April 28, 2013 at 10:07 pm | Reply
  14. jarda cervenka

    been in Colombia many times, liked the place much. I add just two notes: 1) visit Choco region's amazing junges, where (near Venezuelan border) still indians Cholos live untouched by civilization. 2) talk to Colombian academicians that unless they and their students learn English their Universities will remain backward.

    April 28, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Reply
  15. Hypatia

    Barf

    April 28, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Reply
  16. NealR2000

    As a two-time visitor to Colombia, the most dangerous thing about it is the women. They are staggeringly beautiful, and they know it!

    April 28, 2013 at 11:17 am | Reply
    • Juan Valdez

      They have the Most beautiful Donkey's I have ever seen. Carry my Load Baby.

      April 28, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  17. Caleño Educado

    People that get in a tiff about spelling Colombia or Columbia are a s dumb as a box of rocks, and it’s a ridiculous argument. They are the same that speak of “Estados Unidos” instead of United States, or “Nueva York” instead or New York, or “Londres” instead of London. The fact is COLUMBIA is the correct spelling of Colombia in ENGLISH… Educate yourself, Morons!!!

    April 28, 2013 at 10:45 am | Reply
    • Antonio

      You are wrong tortuga breath.

      Correct spelling referencing the country in South America is "Colombia".

      Referencing a city (or other noun) in English can use "Columbia" appropriately,

      Educate yourself. Contact a student in the 2d grade.

      April 28, 2013 at 11:36 am | Reply
      • Caleño Educado

        Dude, you must till in second grade. You spell names in reference the local language where is the article is written. In France, they spell Columbia as COLUMBIE, in Portugal is COLÔMBIA, in Bulgaria is Колумбия, etc, etc. Travel and you’ll learn!!!

        April 28, 2013 at 11:55 am | Reply
        • Gonrodepatricia

          Absolutely right! Calenoeducado-they make a battle of something so simple,it is a different language. Instead, we should be proud that we share the name with a prestigious university as Columbia University.

          April 28, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
      • Liliana garcia

        Thank you 👍

        April 29, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Reply
    • CraigH

      The correct spelling of the country in South America is "Colombia". The correct spelling of another county in South America is "Brasil" and not "Brazil".

      However, this is if you know the difference. If you are ignorant, stupid, dumb, idiot, arrogant, midget, retarded or gimp or other (unforgivable) use whatever you want. We all know where you got your education.

      Many words spoken in English are spelled and pronounced to make it easier on the speaker. Look that one up in google.

      English is the lazy language. Doesn't take much movement of the lips or mouth and tongue to say much. But try that in a simple language like Spanish. Heart vs corazon.

      April 28, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Reply
      • Caleño Educado

        This article is written in the USA, not is South America. Go to Finland and you'll read Kolumbiassa... get together with Toño and after your second grade goes in summer break, you can ask your Mommy to take you outside of the country and get educated.

        April 28, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Reply
        • CraigH

          The correct spelling is Colombia dude! But you can spell it the way your mommy taught you.

          Russia is not spelled "Rushia" for the simplicity. Figure that one out. You might need more of your sister's breast milk though. You sound a little weak.

          There is a thing called, "first spelling and second spelling" in language. Some refer to this as "formal" and "informal".

          The first spelling of the country is "Colombia". This is the more appropriate spelling if you want the reader/listener to know that you are talking about "Colombia, SA". It is the correct and legal spelling in all languages. Different spellings are used only for understanding the word in the particular language.

          I could be a little more technical but you wouldn't get it, "dude".

          Get an education outside the confines of where you park your tin box. And pull your pants up, your crack is showing.

          April 28, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • pinttalk

      Caleño Educado sounds like an Oxymoron here... Colombia (the country) is spelled C O L O M B I A in english you dumbass. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/colombia

      April 29, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Reply
    • Claudia

      Que pena contradecirlo caleño "educado" pero en el ingles si existe diferencia entre la palabra Columbia y Colombia, Colombia es el pais suramericano y Columbia hace alusion a una universidad norteamericana y una pequeña ciudad. Algunos libros hacen esa aclaracion.

      April 29, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Reply
    • Otra caleña

      Check an English dictionary (i.e. M Webster online) and you'll find that is ColOmbia.
      And in other languages: Croatian: Kolumbija; Czech: Kolumbie; Danish: Colombia; Dutch: Colombia; Finnish: Kolumbia; French: Colombie; German: Kolumbien; Italian: Colombia; Norwegian: Colombia; Polish: Kolumbia; Portuguese: Colômbia; Romanian: Columbia; Swedish: Colombia; Turkish: Kolombiya.
      We will never be completely "educados". There is always something new to learn.

      May 3, 2013 at 6:40 pm | Reply
  18. Gabriel

    To my Colombian people: I really liked what Anthony Bourdain has done about Colombia. But why we worry so much what people thinks about our country? Why we worry so much about how they say it? Colombia is a very beautiful country and we all know it. We have bad things and good things, and recently we are doing better than many other countries in the region. We are the third largest economy in LA after Brasil and Mexico. Don't worry about the haters and don't worry about ignorant people, once this people discover what Colombia truly is, then we will have a country invaded by dumb-asses. Instead, let's keep working hard to build a better country and for those of us living outside, let's be disciplined and work hard to leave the best impression of Colombians. Again, ignore haters (especially Maria), they're not worth the words.

    April 28, 2013 at 9:45 am | Reply
    • Gabriel

      Maria: I didn't mean to say to ignore you. I meant that you should ignore haters. We we argue with ignorants we get automatically scaled down to a lower class.

      April 28, 2013 at 9:48 am | Reply
  19. Buck

    I've heard the severed heads down there are sabroso!

    April 28, 2013 at 9:15 am | Reply
  20. Alex

    Come to Colombia the only risk is that you will come back

    April 28, 2013 at 8:01 am | Reply
  21. Bill the gringo

    I'm born and raised in jersey,my wife is Colombian.I've been there 6 to 7 times.Beautiful Country.Been to many different regions of Colombia with my wife and her family,every one was more beautiful than the next and the people are the most respectful and nicest you'll ever meet.Colombia is my home away from home.Anyone talking negatively about abviously hasn't been there.Go see San Andres.

    April 28, 2013 at 7:42 am | Reply
  22. maria

    I am from Colombia ,and my question is ? why this guy go to there and show only the ghettos ,the slums? just poor people ,Colombia is a beautiful Country I left 45 years ago, but really is more than that ! is least he didn't show it about drug cartel and other awful images ,something that we are unfortunally reconized around the world ,we are hard workers people,and not all are involved with drugs ,not me !people generalize us because the drugs and is not fair, the fauna,the climate the food the folklore music,flowers,I miss the food indeed! he should show modern architecture ,very England style, beautifu places ,modern styles , I left long time ago it is new to me see the images of the Colombia that I left a long time !ago!

    April 28, 2013 at 1:17 am | Reply
    • NealR2000

      Anthony Bourdain is not your typical travel show presenter. He is not going to show you beautiful beaches and pretty views. His shows are all about enjoying the best eating experiences, which for him, is all about peasant food, back-street markets, and most of all, cooks that can produce delicious food with few resources. I've been to many of the plces he's been, including two visits to Colombia. He sometimes tries to present himself a little too much as a dare-devil foodie, but he usually gets it right. I love Colombia, and if my family situation allowed it, would move there.

      April 28, 2013 at 11:13 am | Reply
    • Patiat

      If you've ever watched anything else Anthony Bourdain has done, you couldn't have helped but notice that one particular theme runs throughout his work and his thoughts on regional foods: the most varied and often the most interesting foods come from rural and poor areas, where people have had to be creative in order to work with what was available and to make the food taste good and last a while. He visits poor areas nearly everywhere he goes, and there's inevitably a food connection to why he's there. There is just no support for the trite, defensive argument one hears so frequently from people from Mexico, Colombia, Brazil and other countries with beauty and warmth on the one hand, and on the other, entrenched injustice, poverty, disorganization, horrific violence and an upper class that treats the lower class like it's subhuman and only useful for the servility it can offer, namely that tired old saw of, "he only shows the worst of the country." No, he doesn't. He finds common themes throughout the world in how people have developed the foods they have, and this is overwhelmingly owed to the lower classes. Case in point here in the US: beans used to be looked down upon as "poor people's food", mostly rural in nature but even when urban bean-based dishes were made they were more often than not considered unrefined. Now look around you: beans are everywhere in restaurants catering to hipsters and the smug upper-middle class. Which is good, because beans are good.

      April 28, 2013 at 11:35 am | Reply
      • Curious

        Interesting comment. I am from Colombia and the tastiest foods I tried have been in family reunions or at the market place. Hopefully we'll get more shows about other regions in Colombia, like Quindio, Valle, Narino and Popayan.

        May 2, 2013 at 10:33 pm | Reply
  23. ROBERT E GILLESPIE

    in a word... the best thing about Columbia: "SHAKIRA" !

    April 27, 2013 at 9:39 pm | Reply
    • maria

      It is COLOMBIA !not Columbia....

      April 28, 2013 at 1:24 am | Reply
    • Ed

      It's Colombia not Columbia!

      April 28, 2013 at 1:31 am | Reply
    • Patiat

      But before she started singing terrible lyrics in English, before she started bleaching her hair, and before she sang one of the most gratingly terrible songs in human history with Wyclef Jean.

      Sure, roll it back to the 90s, and Shakira indeed is one of the greatest things about Colombia.

      April 28, 2013 at 11:37 am | Reply
  24. Naya G

    A few years ago he went to Medellin and he showed a group of people in a bad neighborhood, talking about the drug lords times. If Colombia is not that anymore, why is he making the same references again? Can Colombia be seen in another light?

    April 27, 2013 at 8:35 pm | Reply
    • Chris Honry

      Yes it can. The light of millions of mentally ill Americans who need drugs so bad they pay BILLIONS of dollars for it. And I've been to Colombia several times- they have less dirty, crime ridden welfare state cities than we do. And yes, the food es una maravilla, cacoro.

      April 28, 2013 at 12:55 am | Reply
      • maria

        Nasty...grocero !

        April 28, 2013 at 2:03 am | Reply
      • maria

        Your last name..I would changed really....... and by the way you are probable one of them who needs drugs and travel to Colombia for that purpose right?

        April 28, 2013 at 2:05 am | Reply
    • maria

      Only people with Narrow Mind can define Colombia as a Drugs and violence,is also a beutiful Country with beautiful scenarios,fauna,climate,honest people,great food ,intelilgent people well educatedwith college degree great Univeristies ,they forot about the important issues but yet define this Country by violence only that is why I called narrow minds! they generalize everyone by one single issue!

      April 28, 2013 at 1:29 am | Reply
    • Patiat

      Colombia is still that. Of course drug trafficking is a huge part of the economy and culture there, to this day. Just because Medellin and Bogota have lowered their homicide rates drastically and come up with some very nice solutions to some of their worst problems doesn't for a second mean that Colombia has left its entrenched poverty behind, nor all of the other factors that contribute to the culture of narcotrafficking.

      April 28, 2013 at 11:40 am | Reply
  25. Gonrodepatricia

    I can't wait to see this episode about Colombia..I love the way he says "This is the most welcoming country in Latin America I have ever been" well..something like that if I did not quote it correctly. He is right that dish of Pasteles is delicious..but so hard to prepare, it is heaven..I travel about 1.5 hours each way to buy them once a month...heaven on earth that dish! Also the spelling of Colombia or Columbia..who cares as long as it is use in a nice manner. I am Colombian and not appalled at all by the spelling. Colombia is a gorgeous country and it has come a long way.

    April 27, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Reply
    • maria

      Thanks ,and you will be always welcome to our Country because"my casa is su casa" (my house is your house)

      April 28, 2013 at 1:32 am | Reply
  26. JM

    He should stop by Cartagena and try some of those tasty treats that the Secret Service knows all about. :-)

    April 27, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Reply
    • maria

      Is always we had to have a TROLL always! another narrow mind troll

      April 28, 2013 at 1:34 am | Reply
    • Patiat

      Every time someone makes a trite, hackneyed reference to a woman or to women using some sort of food metaphor, a cute fuzzy puppy dies somewhere in a child's arms.

      April 28, 2013 at 11:42 am | Reply
  27. Article

    Just u can have antes idea where I'm from

    April 27, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Reply
  28. dinaosullivan

    I like this show sometimes but why is it being pushed so much these past weeks.It is not that good and sometimes pretty boring.

    April 27, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Reply
    • jeffery

      Really! Between this guy and the country of Colombia itself there's some blurb every day. As one who did some "business" in Colombia some years ago, I can tell you that there are places in Bogota where you will disappear without a trace.

      April 27, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Reply
      • M I Snow

        It's too bad it didn't happen to you...

        April 27, 2013 at 9:09 pm | Reply
        • maria

          Amen! it should happen to him ,is like is not violence in this world ? specially in America !

          April 28, 2013 at 1:35 am |
      • Patiat

        What of it? Does that make the whole country like that? Sure, you can get into trouble, but you can also enjoy yourself.

        April 28, 2013 at 11:43 am | Reply
  29. PESSIMIST

    Well, he most have inhaled some soca with the African-infuenced tamales. YUCCA, WHITE SWEET POTATOES, PLANTAINS, PINNAPPLES, COCO YAM YAM,OKRA, MANGO AND THE LIKE were brought from Africa when the EUROPEANS SMUGGLED the Africans to these regions. All the different tamales in South America have their roots in the unwilling,smuggled, African immigrants who were dropped at these regions.

    April 27, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Reply
    • Jimmy Garrett

      @PESSIMIST There is no doubt that much of the culture in South American countries and (you forgot to mention) Caribbean countries have been positively influenced by the Africans brought here by the Spaniards and sold to them by other Africans. Most Latin countries are proud of the influence Africans have had and do not deny it and recognize it. From food to the sultry rhythms in Salsa and other Latin music have been influenced. Why you feel the need to stand on a soap box, point out the obvious, and make a statement like you did shows your ignorance of these cultures and your need to create conflict where there is none regarding race.

      April 27, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Reply
      • M I Snow

        Because s/he is a PESSIMIST!

        April 27, 2013 at 9:12 pm | Reply
    • maria

      PESSIMIST! ......I don't know what are you smoking right now but is not from Colombia for sure! with a narrow mentality like yours I wonder is you can even write, amazing ! please learn about the history and get the facts before you write idiotic comments ..you are a disgrace of your kin!

      April 28, 2013 at 1:40 am | Reply
    • MBouline

      How is anything you mentioned other than okra have anything to do with Africa or Africans? I guess you really have no earthly idea of the subject. Tamales are a true Mesoamerican food. Did you know that tamales date back BEFORE the Spanish came to the Americas which also would be before slaves? The Olmec, Toltec, Maya, and Aztec ate tamales. The tamal dates back to 8,000 BC. The potato is from Peru. Scientists actually have narrowed down the potato to a single origin. Yucca is a plant native only to the Americas. Plantains are actually from Asia. Africa is considered a secondary centre of diversity for the plantain. Sweet potatoes were domesticated over 5,000 years ago in Central America and 8,000 years ago in Peru. The cocoa tree is native to South America as proven by their cultivars. The mango is native to Asia. Your rant while amusing is factually incorrect. No doubt that there has been African influence thoughout the Americas, but you have overstated what that influence is. But hey, why let little things like facts get in the way.

      May 18, 2013 at 5:21 am | Reply
  30. Steven C

    There is an AUTHENTIC Columbian restaurant that serves REALLY EXCELLENT GENUINE/TRADITIONAL COLUMBIAN cuisine ... . The owner is Columbian, after all ... and right here in the Fort Myers, FL area ... GREAT TASTES and GREAT VALUE!!!

    Las Delicias Cafeteria-Bakery‎
    4150 Hancock Bridge Parkway
    Fort Myers, FL 33903
    Lochmoor Plaza‎
    (239) 997-0009

    April 27, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Reply
    • marcela

      Dios Mio! Que manada de pendejos. Columbia es la universidad situada en la ciudad de Nueva York. Colombia es el pais.

      April 27, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Reply
      • wilmer Henao

        who cares. I'm colombian and I find this so annoying.

        April 27, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Reply
      • Patiat

        Aún más pendejo es dejarte enojar por el error ortográfico y decírselo en castellano en vez de inglés.

        April 28, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Reply
    • maria

      Hey thanks for the tip I will be visiting soon ,and by the way is: COLOMBIA not Columbia( not like Columbia South Caroline) but thanks anyway I really appreciate it!

      April 28, 2013 at 1:44 am | Reply
      • Yamile

        @Maria, this is so funny you were correcting the spelling of COLOMBIA and didn't check your own spelling of South CAROLINA. (South Caroline????)

        July 27, 2013 at 11:22 am | Reply
  31. Buck

    I've heard Colombian "Neckties" are quite the fashion down there.

    April 27, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Reply
    • marcela

      pendejo

      April 27, 2013 at 2:56 pm | Reply
      • Buck

        taladro

        April 27, 2013 at 8:42 pm | Reply
    • maria

      IDIOTA for (idiot) narrow mind I bet you don't even speak English comeback to school!

      April 28, 2013 at 1:47 am | Reply
    • xirume

      Hey Buck... your name would do you more justice with an "F" instead.

      April 29, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Reply
  32. kikeoff

    When Anthony Bourdain comes so closely to the top of CNN page you know theres something wrong with CNN as news network.

    April 27, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Reply
    • Fernando

      There's a lot of that going around. Your primary care physician can usually prescribe medication that will help you fight the unwanted impulse to go to CNN's web page. Maybe you can get a referral to talk to somebody, too.

      April 30, 2013 at 9:00 am | Reply
  33. Lauradet

    Oh, boy! It looks like my secret vacation spot has been revealed. I love Columbia, but now that it is being exposed it's time to find another place to go. My intention in traveling is to get away from fellow Americans . . . period.

    April 27, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Reply
    • Diana

      It's COLOMBIA..... Not Columbia!!!!

      April 27, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Reply
    • JJ

      Columbia?? Come on people, at least know what the heck you are talking about.....

      COLOMBIA, or maybe I can start calling this place the Ukited Slates???

      April 27, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Reply
    • marcela

      If you love it so much, why not spell it correctly? COLOMBIA

      April 27, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Reply
      • Eduardo

        Hey Colombianos. Please get over the spelling thing. Who cares,really. It makes us look like a bunch of whining babies. Colombians seem to always get trapped on that topic.. You're taking focus off of the message here. We have a great country with great people, places and food. Attn: Columbiano

        May 4, 2013 at 8:42 am | Reply
    • Patiat

      As long as you keep spelling it "Columbia," you might be able to escape some of your fellow Americans, but you'll never escape your own Americanness.

      April 28, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Reply
  34. j denis huggard

    hellocnn-i am sending full letter to mrs maria c lacouture of proexport colubia outlining my 4.5 decades od resort const/financing as i am assissting marine ferry operarion set up commercial/tourism activity in DR/st maartens/aruba/curacao/colunbia-there needs to be 5 star hotel planned for cartgena[sp]and marina-as well rooms will be set up as condominiums-for sale to canadians-i am based in vancouver,bc,canada-i am in favour of stronger trade ties to strenthen columbian economy-columbians should visit alberta re-oil export activity

    April 27, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Reply
    • Don Juan

      This guy is a nutcase.

      April 27, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Reply
    • Patiat

      Doubtless CNN thanks you for this scintillating and informative contribution.

      April 28, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Reply
  35. George Dixon

    Ahh...self indulgence personified by and for the 1%

    April 27, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Reply
  36. Ross

    It's very good to see a good article about Colombia finally!! People who has never been in Colombia tends to think that Colombia is not a good place to visit, but once you are there, inmediately you change your mind and start to love this beautiful country. All what is described in this articles about Colombia are true and you can discover even more amazing thing and places. Definately a country to visit and enjoy. Go for it!!!!!

    April 27, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Reply
  37. hal

    Tony = JUST ANOTHER phony!!

    April 26, 2013 at 11:18 pm | Reply
  38. Paola

    This is one of the very few documentaries about Colombia, in which the country is depicted in a positive way. For that reason alone, and as a Colombian citizen who's lived out of the country (but visited on occasion) for 20 years, I'm happy to finally see such documentary on North American television. Specially CNN. It's obvious that it will not explain with detail the way of life in every single city or region, or its food, traditions, etc., simply because it is an incredibly rich country; and without a doubt a longer show could be made. However, one must be happy to either learn about Colombia or simply appreciate the effort someone has made to show such lovely country to the rest of he world.

    April 26, 2013 at 9:41 pm | Reply
  39. goinggringo

    He went to Medellin on his old show but not bogota. May be why he s not going back. So many misconceptions about Colombia in this article alone, ill be curious how close to the center of the dart board he comes. Aquardiente is NOT strong, alcohol- wise, although it is in flavor. It's only half the proof of whiskey or most liquors. Also, while ingredients in Colombia are plentiful and cheap, the food is far below average. And there s no 'u' in Colombia!!!

    April 25, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Reply
    • Hugo Moreno

      fromthereandhere the best cuisine in Colombia is La cocina de Cartagena!! look it up buddy and dont post stuff you dont know!!

      April 27, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Reply
      • goinggringo

        I've been to la Colina in Cartagena. It's excellent, as is Tabula in Bogota (Spanish food). I've lived here two years and I'm sorry, but While I love Colombia, the food is not good. Most people who say they like it sing the praises of arepas and then proceed to sing the praises of the things they put on top of one. Not to say there aren't great place to eat here, but generally Colombian food is not good.

        April 27, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Reply
        • maria

          And what is your point? you liked or disliked? I am confused ,maybe the one who was cooking for you doesn't know how to cook Colombian food!

          April 28, 2013 at 1:54 am |
    • PeterPiper

      Most distillers have their "export" version of their drink. The export version is usually of less alcohol.

      For instance, Jack Daniels has an export whiskey. the proof is less than served in the USA.

      Jack Daniels in Ecuador and Colombia and other SA countries cost about $50.00 per fifth.

      Scotch Whiskey is usually dirt cheap throughout SA.

      April 28, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  40. fromthereandhere

    Nice, good effort but how unfortunate that this episode doesn't seem to include time in the beautiful city of Medellin. Not only is this a thriving modern city, the second largest in Colombia, but it is also the home of the most wonderful cuisine in the country.. A "bandeja paisa" holds its own against any of the very local dishes mentioned in this episode.. Any Colombian restaurant in the world worth its salt will have this dish on its menu... The best one I have had, outside of Medellin, was in a Colombian restaurant in Chicago...

    April 25, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Reply
    • Fabian

      Hey was it Las Tablas in Chicago? That's where I've had the best bandeja paisa in the USA!

      May 2, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Reply
  41. bro

    I hope you like chicken feet in your soup

    April 25, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Reply
    • Pattie

      Chicken feet are eaten in most countries around the world, including the USA. The feet have a very good flavor and add a little life to soups. And after you suck the flavor out of them you can scratch your back with them.

      April 28, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Reply
  42. jack

    Beautiful women are another columbian delicasy!

    April 25, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Reply
    • stephen48739

      Esperanza Gomez!

      April 26, 2013 at 11:40 pm | Reply
  43. Paula

    Sevicheria GUAPI??? now we are talking!!! Guapi is where my ancestors are from and the seafood is delicious!!!!!
    Thanks Anthony!!!

    April 25, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  44. James Lindzey

    we are in the beginning of a tourist BOOM. Colombia has thousands of foreigners moving here now. When i came in 2005 there were less than 100 foreigners living in Medellin, and now we have thousands of gringos in a city of 2.5 million its not that many but what a rapidly developing country!

    April 24, 2013 at 11:55 pm | Reply
  45. k

    Yaih! Finally people are opened up to other possibilities about Colombia!

    April 24, 2013 at 11:14 pm | Reply
  46. nirapenn

    I love Colombian food!! I have lived and worked in Cali for 6 years, and there is nothing like empanadas and ceviche!!! It is great to see Colombia receive some positive press. Awesome article!

    April 24, 2013 at 7:47 pm | Reply
    • lalo

      You can find empanadas and ceviche in EVERY southern american country...

      April 27, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Reply
      • Mendoza

        One shouldn't appreciate a good old Argentine asado either because you can find barbecue in every South American country.

        April 27, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Reply

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