What’s the Colombian diet like?


How a tamal from Cali is served

I’ve been struggling to figure out a how and what to start writing again after 4 months of absence! I’ve been terrible at keeping up the blog due to a combination of work, fun and festivities! In fact, there are still so many things about Colombia to write about! So I decided I had to write a piece on the last day of 2016 even though my piece may not be too relevant/perfect for this time of the year..

In a recent trip to Cali, I was told to try the tamal there. They say ‘it’s different from what you get in Bogotá’.

It was almost noon and we haven’t had breakfast. I was sharing the tamal with my friend and I wanted rice for myself.

‘do you have rice here?’ I asked the mum-like waitress.

The waitress went, ‘yes you can have a portion of rice.’

‘Ok I will have a portion then.’

Then she gave me a funny look.. It was like she couldn’t understand my order. I wasn’t sure why.. Maybe it’s unusual to have rice on its own?

This was when my friend said, ‘the tamal comes with rice.’

At which point the waitress also confirmed, ‘the tamal comes with rice and a small arepa (arepita).’

Oh, right. That was unexpected but I decided to wait and see do it the local way.

So now you know. If you order tamal in Cali, expect to have rice and arepa with it, in addition to the rice that’s already inside the tamal (the way tamal valluno, from Cali, is made).

Thinking about it more, maybe this is not strange at all when the Colombian diet is in fact carbs, more carbs, and more carbs!!! Often, a lunch is one meat plus rice, potatoes, yucca, plantain, pasta, and fruits and juice, blowing the blood sugar level through the roof!

You ask ‘where are the veggies?’

They’ll reply, ‘Potatoes, yucca and plantain!’

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