As you may remember me telling you in a previous post, street food is not only very popular in Colombia, but also very common. You will find at least one street food vendor on almost every street corner as you go through any Colombian city. In my previous post, I told you about three popular Colombian street foods: empanadas, arepas, and salpicón. Today, I want to tell you about four more: obleas, coco frito, mazorca desgranada, and carimañolas.
Obleas are a very traditional, sweet street food that you will find in most major cities in Colombia, including Bogotá, Medellín and Barranquilla. An oblea is basically a giant thin wafer that is either topped with something yummy or combined with another wafer with the toppings in the middle of the two. For toppings, you will choose from a variety of options that include: arequipe (caramel), mora (blackberry sauce), pineapple sauce, crema de leche (table cream), cheese, and shredded coconut. An oblea normally costs between 1.000 and 2.000 COP (30p-60p).
Another “sweet” street food item you will find in Colombia is coco frito (fried coconut). I have only seen this in Bogotá, but you may very well be able to find it in other cities, too. As its name suggests, coco frito consists of sticks of coconut that have been fried and nicely wrapped in a paper cone. While you may think this street food doesn’t sound all that appetizing, it is surely worth a try for only 1.000 COP (30p).
Not sweet, but very delicious is one of my favorite street foods: mazorca desgranada (shaved corn). This street food item has a strange name when it is translated into English, but don’t let the translation scare you off. Mazora desgranada is a delicious mixture of corn (the best will be freshly shaven off the cob) and all or some of the following: lettuce, costeño cheese (a salty, artisanal cheese from the Caribbean coast), shredded chicken or beef, sausage, potato sticks, Colombian tartar sauce, pineapple sauce, and salsa rosada (golf sauce). So, I guess you could even say it is similar to a salad that has corn as its base. Also, be warned: if you get mazora desgranada anywhere outside the Caribbean coast, you will get mozzarella cheese and no lettuce. A plate of mazorca desgranada will likely cost you between 6.000 COP and 13.000 COP (£1.80-£4), depending on the size and how many toppings you get on it.
Another salty street food item, found only on the Caribbean coast, is the carimañola. A carimañola could be described as a yucca fritter or as an empanada made with yucca flour instead of corn flour. It has the same half-moon shape as an empanada and is fried, not baked. You will find carimañola’s that are stuffed with everything from cheese to shredded and ground beef or chicken. And, while empanadas are normally served with ají (a spicy pepper-based Colombian sauce), carimañolas are generally eaten with suero—an artisanal sour cream found along and originating from the Caribbean coast of Colombia. A carimañola will likely put you back about 2.000 COP (60p).
Now that your mouth is probably watering, I’ll leave you to plan your next adventure to try out Colombian street food!
Until next time,
Paige M Poole
About the author:
“Paige M. Poole is an Alabamian and traveler at heart who has settled, for now, in Barranquilla, Colombia, and earns her living as an English professor at the Instituto de Idiomas (Language Institute) at la Universidad del Norte (University of the North). When not teaching English, she enjoys blogging, traveling, relaxing on the beach, and spending time with her partner and two cats, Milo and Sophie. You can see more of Paige’s traveling experiences in her personal blog www.trotamunda.wordpress.com
- Street Food in Colombia: Part I (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- Colombian Desserts and Sweets (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- Cooking Class in Bogota (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- Where can I find good empanadas in Bogota? (www.uncovercolombia.com)