Around the World in 80 Plates: Colombia

Colombia has been in the news and on our screens lately in a fun animated musical, so Captain Create decided it was time for a visit to Bogota. It is the capital city of Colombia, and home to nearly 7.5 million people! The city is built high in Andes mountain range at 8,660 feet above sea level (that’s even higher than Denver in the Rocky Mountains!), and the weather is cool most of the year. Even though Colombia is close to the equator, and some of the forests are tropical, much of the weather is cooler because of the high elevation. They grow lots of tasty food, and can catch fish from the ocean and some high mountain rivers and lakes. Colombian farmers raise everything from coffee to corn to cattle, and even cocoa! What would you eat first if you got to visit?

Most of the children play soccer and baseball. If you have the chance to visit, walking anywhere will probably be a hike for you in the super tall Andes Mountains, which stretch across much of Colombia. There is one really incredible place to hike to: the Caño Cristales, or the River of Five Colors. It turns colors because of the different aquatic plants that grow there, and its unlike anywhere else in the world. You’d need a couple plane rides and a local hiking guide to take you there, and if world travel is not your cup of tea, you can check out the pictures of this amazing river that Captain Create has found from folks that did go!

After hiking all that way, or visiting any of the museums, like the The National Museum, or Museo Nacional, which highlights the history of the region and the indigenous people and cultures, or the Museo de Oro (Gold Museum full of beautiful and ancient artifacts) in Bogota, you’ll need some food! Something that nearly every Colombian will have eaten over and over is the simple little Arepa, which is a griddle-cooked corn cake that usually has melty cheese inside it. Sometimes they are served plain, but you’ll also find them with salsas, barbecued eat, vegetables, scrambled eggs or as a side to a bigger meal. There as many ways to eat an arepa as there are Colombians, so try one and make it the way you like best!

Here are a few examples of what to look for if you aren’t familiar with these tasty latin ingredients. Most can be found in latin markets, but some big chain stores have them as well.

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