One of the most representative and most appreciated dishes among the large amount of options in the Colombian Food, is the Bandeja Paisa.
Years ago, the bandeja Paisa started as a mountaineer dish, mostly intended to fill up the tummy of starving farmworkers, herdsmen and travelers. They would have the most extended and strenuous journeys through the wild and untamed Antioquian territory.
In those days, this amazing specialty, was loaded with the traditional beans, rice and a piece of fried pork. But nowadays it has reached its maximum, it’s probably the preparation with the largest quantity of ingredients and the largest amount of calories one could have in just one plate.
A typical Bandeja Paisa can be made of beans (the original recipe must be done with Cargamanto beans, that are similar to the Romano beans), rice, roasted pork skin, powdered meat, fried egg, chorizo, blood sausage, fried slices of ripe plantain, a quarter of an avocado and one or two small arepas. It seems to be more than enough, but wait: traditionally it is finished with a cup of corn kernels cooked added with milk, locally called Mazamorra, that usually comes with some sweet guava jelly.
Why this loaded plate is so appealing? I think it has to be not only its size and amount of components but also because it has a really nice combination of flavors.
It is very common to find the bandeja Paisa in many of the traditional Medellin restaurants. As a matter of fact it is the most requested dish in the city restaurants that serve typical food, and it’s possible to find it (with slight variations, but always by the same name) at every Colombian city.