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:
In the days counting down to my trip to Colombia, I daydreamed about the culinary delights to come. It was my first time traveling to South America and nothing excited me more than the food: exotic fruits fresh off the tree, full-bodied coffee from the richest beans in the world, and succulent steaks in a country known for its beef production.
I traveled with my boyfriend, who was born in Pereira, one of the three main cities making up Colombia’s “coffee axis.” I begged him to give me an idea of what to expect on my plate. In the past, he had regaled me with stories of eating cow’s tongue for Christmas dinner and drinking juice from tropical citrus fruits whose names I could hardly pronounce. What foods would I be bragging about when I arrived back home to the States?
“Well,” he said, thinking a moment. He shrugged. “Colombia is pretty famous for its potatoes.”
Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.
Join 8,093 other followers