A Travellerspoint blog

Alumbrado de Cali

Colombia Lights Up for Christmas

sunny 80 °F

Along the Río Cali river walk that divides this Andean city of almost three million, the city's municipal government puts up an annual display of unbelievable proportions and singular beauty with over two million light bulbs drawing thousands of visitors nightly to enjoy the spectacular show, the live entertainment, food stalls and artisanal offerings.

Posted by Charles Lemos 18:51 Archived in Colombia Tagged colombia cali travel_in_colombia colombia_culture Comments (0)

The Market in Silvia, Cauca

The small town of Silvia in the Colombian Andes offers insight to the Guambiano way of life

all seasons in one day 68 °F

Nestled in a broad valley at 2620 m (not quite 8.500 feet) in the Central Cordillera of the Colombian Andes, the small town Silvia in the Cauca department (province) offers an idyllic respite from the hustle & bustle of much of modern Colombia. Silvia is easily reachable from Cali and Popayán, about two hours from the former and one hour from the latter but it is a step back in time to when a simpler more leisurely way of life prevailed.

Silvia is home to the Guambianos, a pre-Columbian civilization that survived the Spanish Conquest largely intact, though few Guambianos actually live in town. Instead the Guambianos live in hamlets and farms that dot the surrounding countryside. While many make frequent forays into town during the week, they descend en masse on Tuesdays to attend the weekly market. Whether buying, selling or trading goods, the Tuesday market is also the chance for Guambianos to catch up with family, neighbors and friends not to mention local gossip.

Posted by Charles Lemos 08:04 Archived in Colombia Comments (0)

All Things Christmas in Cali, Colombia

A shopping trip in the downtown center of Cali provides a bounty of ornaments

El Centro, the downtown area of Cali, Colombia, the country's third largest city, plays host six days a week to a cacophonous bazaar of sundry goods from clothing to food to every electrical item imaginable to beautiful artisanal creations. This time of year, the street vendors along the Carrera Novena sell a delightful array of Christmas ornaments, many hand crafted. Bound to enthrall your inner child, the sights, sounds and smells of a walk through this area is a must for any visitor to Cali this time of year. Of course, these experiences can be had in any Colombian city of size as nowhere on Earth is Christmas celebrated with such joyous passion and pageantry.

Posted by Charles Lemos 07:20 Archived in Colombia Tagged christmas colombia cali travel_in_colombia colombia_culture Comments (0)

What's Colombia Really Like?

An Interview with Four Ladies from the US & Canada in Medellín

sunny 77 °F

These four ladies live in Panamá and took advantage of a low fare on COPA to visit Colombia for the first time. Here are their impressions. Filmed at Café del Museo de Antioquia at Parque Botero in Medellín Colombia.

Posted by Charles Lemos 05:29 Archived in Colombia Tagged colombia medellin travel_in_colombia parque_botero _colombia travel_interviews Comments (0)

Cooking à la Charles

To indulge in any cuisine, simply buy fresh ingredients and go at it

As cooking endeavors go, this is my favorite way to cook: go to the market and buy what's fresh. I had settled on seafood and bought two types of octopus, a whole fresh fish, mussels and tiger prawns. Other ingredients that tickled my fancy made the meal. So off I went to Exito here in Cali, Colombia where I am working on my next cookbook, bought quality fresh ingredients, invited three others to join me and cooked up a storm. There was no idea in advance how I would combine these ingredients. All spur of the moment though based on innate sense of taste to pair these items in such way as to create a dish that surprises the palate.

The Menu:
Baked Mussels with a Herb Corn Polenta Grit Stuffing
Shrimp and Fish Ceviche with Pitaya
Pan Fried Mojarra (the fish) in an Onion, Chili and Coconut Sauce
Lettuce and Mango Wraps Stuffed with Sautéed Lime Marinated Octopus with Grilled Andean Corn.,
Ceviche of Tiger Prawn with Red Onion, Cilantro and Tomato
Baby Octopus Ceviche Marinated in Passionfruit Juice and Lime

As a beverage, I served an Aguapanela-based punch. Panela is unrefined whole cane sugar in a brick form. It is is a solid form of sucrose derived from the boiling and evaporation of sugarcane juice. To make aguapanela one dissolves the solid brick in water. Since my version is an aromatic one, I boil the panela with naranjo (orange leaves), lemongrass, mint and cloves. Once brought to a boil, I turn off the heat and add lime juice. The mixture is allowed to cool. To make the punch, one combines two parts aguapanela, one part fresh squeezed mandarin juice and one part ginger ale. Served in a hi-boy over ice and macerated mint with a lime slice. The non-virgin version adds a generous shot of dark Colombian rum.

Mojarra Encebollada con Ají en Salsa de Coco

Mojarra Encebollada con Ají en Salsa de Coco

Baked Mussels with an Herbed Corn Grit

Baked Mussels with an Herbed Corn Grit

Ceviche de Camarón y Mojarra a la Pitaya

Ceviche de Camarón y Mojarra a la Pitaya

Envueltos de Pulpo Salteado con Mango y Choclo

Envueltos de Pulpo Salteado con Mango y Choclo

Baby Octopus Ceviche de Maracuyá

Baby Octopus Ceviche de Maracuyá

Ceviche Sencillo de Camarón

Ceviche Sencillo de Camarón

Posted by Charles Lemos 08:20 Archived in Colombia Tagged food seafood colombia colombian_cuisine food_writing Comments (0)

(Entries 11 - 15 of 15) « Page 1 2 [3]