Visiting Colombia is a great opportunity to enjoy amazing landscapes, and eat great food. Whether you try Bandeja Paisa or a natural juice, the flavors you can find here are one of a kind, believe us.
Colombia has a privileged location on the Equator that gives us a variety of flavors, especially when it comes to fruits. How come? Well, this spot on the globe allows for amazing mountains, fertile land and no seasons. Contrary to many countries, we only have rainy seasons and dry seasons, but we don’t have snow or winter and autumn.
Why is this important? This weather allows for food production to go on all year long. Of course, some foods can only be produced twice per year, but some others are constantly cultivated and sold every month. Also, the many many mountains on our country gives us the ability to grow a wide variety of fruits and distribute them all around the country when it’s possible.
For example, corozo is a very popular fruit in the Caribbean coast but in Bogota we don’t see it available in stores, while other fruits, like curuba, can only grow in cold weather but you can find them almost everywhere in the country.
Now, why does this relate to food markets? Historically, the markets are a place of reunion and an opportunity to find food from many regions. Back in the indigenous era, people would trade special items from other regions through roads that connected the whole country. Then, in the colonial times, the cities became a place to earn money and offer exotic flavors.
Like this, little by little Bogota started to organize special places where people could sell and buy products that came directly from farms and farmers. These markets were also the place to find especial herbs, meet with the neighbors and eat some traditional dishes. This last part has gained especial fame among people all around the city and foreigners.
Traditional soups, juices, and even fruit salads, have become popular for their unique flavor in the markets. Why’s that? When it comes to dishes, family cooking secrets from other regions are gold, and La Concordia is no different. Founded in 1933, it has become an icon for the city, and now is an essential part of the tourism.
It recently was reconstructed and is gaining more attention from the locals that have seen it evolve. Five or four years ago, all the shops of the market had to move to provisional containers that served as the new home. The market underwent a long reconstruction that would benefit many families in the area, but also brought many changes.
The best Ajiaco
One of those stories full of changes is the one of Mama Luz, the famous winner of the best Ajiaco in Bogota. She started her restaurant in the Concordia Market and became highly popular among students that would have lunch every day in her place. Nonetheless, when the construction began, she migrated to another Market that would make her famous: La Perseverancia. There, her recipe became an icon and soon her unique touch conquered the hearts of the Capital. Nowadays, Mama Luz has a restaurant in La Candelaria, full of flavors and a great history that even Netflix aired.
Nonetheless, in La Concordia you can find the new winner of the best Ajiaco of the city. Make sure to ask for aunt Jackie to try it.
Fruits and juices
Let’s move to the sweet flavors: fruits! Behind the only fruit store you can find in La Concordia, there’s a hardworking family that’s keeping tradition alive. Oh Gloria!, the ideal place to taste some amazing juices and try a typical fruit salad.
Mrs. Gloria, the founder of the shop, started more than 50 years ago in the original building of La Concordia. Only with fruits and a creative-wise mind, she has given life to new flavors no one could even imagine. The best part are the healing properties behind her juices and smoothies, which reflect the wisdom transmitted from generation to generation in her family.
Whether it’s just for pleasure, for adventure, a hangover, or a shot of vitamins, you can always go to Oh Gloria! To find a natural, delicious remedy.
The list goes on…
Even though we only mentioned a couple of places inside the market, La Concordia has grown insanely during the last year. You can find Cacao, Chicha and Coffee in the same area, as well as herbs and handcrafts.
Whenever you’re in Bogota, remember to stop by and explore new flavors, you won’t regret it. Remember that food markets are a celebration of diversity and the best representation of what Colombia tastes like.