Popular Colombian Snacks

Just like the rest of us, Colombians are fond of snacks. And, while they may differ from the common snacks you could find in the United Kingdom or the United States, they are no less delicious or varied. Today, I want to tell you about ten of the most popular snacks you will find Colombians munching on.

1. Arepas

I know I have mentioned arepas in some of my previous posts, but as they are practically a national Colombian symbol, they must be mentioned again. You will find people snacking on all types of arepas (stuffed arepas, fried sweet arepas, and grilled arepas filled with cheese among others) at all hours of the day. It’s no wonder either since arepa vendors are on almost every other street corner, and you can also find arepas in almost any local neighbourhood market, grocery store or restaurant that you walk in to.

Arepas boyacenses

Arepas boyacenses

2. Deditos de Queso (“Cheese Fingers”)

Deditos de queso are delicious sticks of queso costeño (artisanal coastal cheese) or sometimes mozzarella cheese, wrapped in a croissant like bread and baked to perfection.

3. Empanadas

Empanadas are a popular snack food in most Latin American countries and Colombia is no exception. In Colombia, though, the most popular empanadas are made with corn flour, filled with beef, potatoes, or cheese and fried or til there are impeccably crispy.

Empanada made with white corn flour (bottom right)

Empanada made with white corn flour (bottom right)

4. Pastel Gloria

Pastel Gloria is a baked sweet—it has an outer shell made out of flaky pastry dough that is filled with sweet guava paste (bocadillo) that has been baked and sprinkled with just the right amount of granulated sugar.

5. Bocadillo with cheese

Bocadillo, as mentioned above, is sweet guava paste that is typically concentrated into blocks or rolls. You will often find it pre-packaged with a type of mozzarella cheese, although sometimes the cheese and bocadillo are sold separately and the consumer pairs them in portions to his or her likings.

6. Chicharrones

Chicharrón translates into pork rind, but Colombia pork rinds are more like home-style pork rinds, often fried with a somewhat thick layer of meat beneath the fatty rind.

Chicharrón (bottom left)

Chicharrón (bottom left)

7. Kebabs

Kebabs are not indigenous to Colombia, but they are quite common on the streets and are quite a popular on-the-go snack. Most often you will find kebabs that consist of different types of sausages, peppers, small yellow potatoes and sometimes chicken or beef. They are most often bought straight off the grill, nice and hot.

8. Papas Rellenas (Stuff Potatoes)

Papas rellenas are a delicious Colombian street food that is not as common as it should be. Basically, it consists of a giant potato that has been stuffed with any number of foods—chicken, peppers, cheese, beef, sausage, etc… and has then been dipped in a batter and fried until the batter becomes golden and crispy.

9. Buñuelos

Buñuelos are salty fried balls of cheese and dough. They are a traditional Christmas food in Colombia, but are also a favourite snack normally eaten with a nice cup of Colombian coffee. In the interior of Colombia they are generally small balls, while on the coast they are larger balls.

10. Ponqué Ramo (Ramo Pound Cakes)

Ponqué Ramos are individual slices of pre-packaged pound cakes sold in grocery stores, neighbourhood markets, and supermarkets all over the country. They are famous companions to the Colombian soft drink Pony Malta and come in many flavours: marbled, chocolate, vanilla, orange, and even vanilla covered in a chocolate shell.

So, go get your Colombian snack on!

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

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