Anatomy of the paisa tray

The bandeja paisa, the typical dish par excellence of the Antioquia region and one of the most famous in Colombian gastronomy, has about 2,000 calories and its origin dates back to the time of colonization, when in this mountainous region, the ¨envuelto antioqueño¨ was the food that gave the muleteers, the necessary portions of carbohydrates for their long working days.

Work days in which, among others, are cultivated foods such as beans and rice (which are the main base of the bandeja paisa) and are part of the bread of this region of Colombia.

Bandeja paisa de cerca

But what about the other ingredients?

You can imagine that for more than 2,000 calories the ingredients of the bandeja paisa are not few, and in fact, the bandeja paisa is so called because it is served in a large, oval and slightly concave tray, so that all the ingredients can fit, because without a doubt, one of the most important characteristics of the bandeja paisa is its abundance, both in quantity and variety of food.

Now it’s time! The ingredients. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the bandeja paisa has thirteen ingredients, two of which are side dishes. This is the complete list:

White rice, powdered or ground meat, chicharrón, fried egg, patacón or fried ripe plantain, Antioquian chorizo with lemon, Antioquian arepa, hogao (tomato-based sauce or condiment), black pudding or roasted stuffed and avocado.

And as if that were not enough! For dessert there is mazamorra with milk, ground panela or ¨dulce macho¨ and refajo. Re-what? Refajo, a Colombian cocktail made from a mixture of beer and a typical soda called ¨Colombiana¨.

Ingredientes de la bandeja paisa

Bandeja paisa today:

Of course, in Antioquia and throughout the country people still eat bandeja paisa, but because more and more people live in the city and our daily habits have changed considerably, nowadays, smaller versions of the traditional one mostly called ¨típicos antioqueños¨ or ¨típicos montañeros¨, are delicious variations that preserve the richest ingredients of the dish par excellence of Antioquian cuisine.

The bandeja paisa is considered one of the most typical recipes of the Antioquian region and Colombian gastronomy, a delicious dish with the characteristic seal of an extensive diversity of flavors.

Where to eat the best bandeja paisa Medellín?

Imagine you must be wondering! But we’re going to leave the answer to an authority on this subject, Tulio Zuloaga, the creator of @tuliorecomienda, the most important gastronomic guide in the country.

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