February 22 2020
Like all places, they have their own food scene, and Medellin is no different. The thing that has surprised me though, is how varied the places to eat here are. In my small town in Spain, it was hard to find anything but Spanish food, hamburgers, and the odd pizza shop. Here it is a different story. But let's start with the basics.
This will forever make the list of blog articles to write because it's different in every single place.
Near me, there is a variety of shops to choose from, but thus far I have only gone to what they call here the "discount stores." These are similar to Aldi's or a small Safeway in the states. They have the basics in a small variety and that's about it. Frozen chicken, sausage, crackers, egg, breads, yogurt, milk, wine, beer, some fruits and veggies. You get the idea. Best part is they are dirt cheap. A load like that put me back about $14 USD, which is pretty amazing when you think about it.
I suppose at some point I'll have to venture to a 'real' grocery store, but thus far these have sated my needs.
As mentioned in my previous post, I did a fruit class through the language school I'm attending. In my head, I was thinking they would throw a few new fruits at me, cover the classics, y ya esta. However, that was not the case.
I knew two fruits. Two. The mango and the papaya. The rest were fruits I had never tasted or heard of. Which is pretty cool when you think about it. Because Colombia is considered a tropical place, the fruits here tend to favor that climate.
The Arazá: big, green, white on the inside, surprisingly sweet and delicious.
The Granadilla: sweet, tangy, fun to break open.
The Mangosteen: the white pulp inside this fruit is rich and creamy, almost like a very light cheese.
The Maracuyá: super, super tart. I actually found many of the fruits to be very sour on the tongue.
The Tomate de Arbol: also tart with lots of seeds.
The Uchuva: shockingly tart, but said to be better when paired with something sweet.
This article has a good breakdown with pictures, and while I only tried a few, there are way, way more!
Here the pastry scene is actually pretty happening. Pastries for breakfast is a thing, and most of them aren't sweet, but rather savory. I haven't tried half of them, but the ones I have tried are pretty delicious and filling.
The Arepa: made from fresh cornmeal, the variety of which you can eat them is varied depending on which region you are in.
The Empanada: stuffed pastry with cheese, different kind of meats, and handy for on the go exploring while hungry.
The Buñuelos: fried ball of dough sometimes stuffed with cheese. 'nuf said.
I already know it- I was stupid-spoiled when it came to living in a wine region for a year. Coming back to the US wasn't a huge shock though because while the wines I loved aren't exported, I could at least find something close to it for three times the price. Thus far here, the wine selection has been small though good. All of the wines in the shops (keeping in mind I've been to like three grocery stores) are from Argentina. Two pluses: they are cheap and they are red.
Most places I've been out to though don't serve a glass of red wine. It's by the bottle, and it's a little pricey. The drink of choice here, you ask? Beer. That delicious Mediterranean style that could also be conveniently confused for a Corona. Sadly at the end of the day, I find it hard to drink a beer over a glass of red wine.
Eating out here is always a good option, I have found thus far. It's cheap, fresh, and filling. A rice, avocado, and chicken bowl will set you back about $4, a street empendada about $1, and a stuffed arepa (a famous cornmeal tortilla of sorts here that is usually stuffed or eaten with cheese) about $3. The menu del dia is also super cheap here. Usually it includes a soup (chicken, meat, or fish) rice, avocado, a plan teen, and a piece of meat with your accompanying drink of a juice or flavored lemonade. In short, sometimes I feel like it's cheaper to eat out then cook in. (Though their healthy to unhealthy going out food ration so far seems dangerous. Lots of bread and rice to satisfy the gut.)
Seriously though, all this walking doesn't feel like it's equaling out the eating. Un poco gordita.
Last thing- avocados are 5 for $1. YES.