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Cuisine of Colombia, Venezuela, the Guianas and Suriname

Tropical and Ethnic Influences


Cuisine of Colombia, Venezuela, the Guianas and Suriname:


Colombia has a varied regional cuisine and some wonderful fruits. Do try them. You'll be offered coffee in various forms:
  • tinto: small cup of strong, black coffee
  • perico or pintado: small cup of coffee with milk
  • café con leche: coffee with lots of milk Black, or regular tea, isn't popular, but aromáticas, herbal teas, are. Try a cup of cidrón or citrus tea, yerbabuena or mint tea, or manzanilla, or camomile tea. The latter are excellent after a meal, and are used to settle the stomach. Try also some agua de panela, which is a drink of unrefined sugar, hot water and lemon. On the alcoholic side, Colombian beers are cheap and fairly good. Rum is good and popular along the coast. You'll find mixed results with chicha and guarapo which is home-brewed mix of fruit in agua de panela. Aguardiente is popular, but local wines are not recommended. Try these Recipes from Colombia. You might find instructions for:
  • Ajiaco: chicken soup with potatoes, corn and capers
  • Bandeja paisa: ground beef, chorizo, beans, fried plátano, fried egg,
  • chicarrón, and avocado
  • Cuy: grilled guinea pig
  • Hormiga culona: fried ants - unique to Santander
  • Lechona: baked pig stuffed with meat, rice, peas
  • Tamales: pork, rice and vegetables mix, steamed in banana leaves


    Coffee lovers will enjoy

    Fruit juices are popular and served pure, batido or watered down or as a merengado or milkshake. Beer is popular, as in rum. Look for:

  • Arepas: flat bread, either served plain at meals or filled with meat, cheese, or fish and eaten as a snack from an arepera
  • Cachapa: fresh corn pancake, like a tortilla, served with cheese and/or ham
  • Cachito: hot bread roll stuffed with ham
  • Hallaca: meat, vegetables, olive stuffing in corn dough, steamed in plantain leaves
  • Mondongo: tripe cooked in bouillon with vegetables, corn and potatoes
  • Muchacho: roast loin of beef in sauce
  • Pabellón: shredded beef, rice, beans, and fried plantain
  • Parillada: barbequed meats
  • Sancocho: fish stew with vegetables


    Guyana's cuisine shows definite ethnic influences. East Indian flavors, Chinese food, and creole cuisine influence Guyanese cooking. Juices, beer and a fruit punch are popular beverages. Enjoy spicy pepperpot stew, perhaps made with iguana or watrash, cook-up rice, curries, cow-heel soup and seafood dishes.

    French Guiana

    Here you'll enjoy international cuisine plus Chinese, Vietnamese and Indonesian dishes. Imported soft and alcoholic drinks are popular, but expensive.


    Javanese, creole, Chinese and Hindustani cuisine plus favorite Dutch influences are popular. Beer and rum are popular alcoholic drinks. Try these Recipes of Suriname for an authentic taste and flavor of the country.

    Enjoy the

  • Cuisine of Argentina and Chile
  • Cuisine of Ecuador and Brazil
  • Cuisine of Paraguay, Uruguay and the Falkland Islands
  • Cuisine of Peru and Bolivia.

    No matter where you travel in South America, or make a South American recipe at home, enjoy! You might want to browse through the selections and perhaps try the recipes in Our Latin Table : Celebrations, Recipes, and Memories (direct buy) for a taste of Latin American cuisine.

    Buen provecho!

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