Columbia is located in the continent of South America. It has the Caribbean Sea to the north, Venezuela to the northeast, Brazil to the east, Peru to the south, Ecuador to the southwest, and Panama to the northwest.
The capital is Bogotá.
The official language is Spanish.
The climate is generally tropical and isothermal due to the proximity of the Equator. The climate varies based on the elevation and has northeast and southeast trade winds,
The staple foods are rice, plantain, arepa (corn cakes), avocado, minced meat, chorizo, black sausage, fried pork rind, empanadas filled with meat, chicken, or cheese, and so many more delicious foods (https://www.backroads.com/pro-tips/travel-guides/food-and-drink/food-in-colombia).
SLOW COOKER COLOMBIAN-STYLE PULLED PORK (https://www.mycolombianrecipes.com/slow-cooker-colombian-style-pulled-pork/):
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp ground achiote
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- Salt and ground pepper
- 6 garlic cloves
- 5 scallions
- 1 C diced onion
- 4 lb. boneless pork shoulder
- 1 C of dark beer
- Combine the paprika, achiote, cumin, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- Rub the spice mixture all over the pork.
- Add the onions, garlic, scallions, beer and ½ C of water to the slow cooker and whisk to combine.
- Add the pork, cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
- Remove the pork and transfer to a cutting board.
- Strain the liquid into a saucepan, bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half, about 7 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Pull the pork using two forks and mix in a bowl with about 1 C of the reduced cooking liquid.
- Serve on buns or with arepas.
CHEESE-STUFFED COLOMBIAN-STYLE AREPAS (https://www.seriouseats.com/cheese-stuffed-colombian-style-arepas-recipe):
- 2 C masarepa
- 2 oz. (about ½ C) finely crumbled queso fresco (optional)
- 1 C water, plus more as necessary
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- Kosher salt
- ½ lb. mozzarella or other good melting cheese, sliced or grated
- 2 tsp butter
- Preheat toaster oven or oven with rack in the center to 325 F.
- Combine masarepa, crumbled cheese (if using), water, and vegetable oil in a medium bowl and knead with hands until a dough is formed. Take a small amount and flatten it between your palms. If the edges crack, knead in more water, 1 TBSP at a time until dough is supple and smooth but not sticky.
- Season dough to taste with salt, then cover and set aside for 5 minutes.
- Divide dough into 8 even pieces and roll into balls. Working on a wooden cutting board or a regular cutting board with a sheet of plastic wrap or parchment paper on top of it, flatten each ball down to a disk about 5 inches in diameter and ¼-inch thick.
- Place ¼ of cheese into center of one disk, leaving a ½-inch gap all around.
- Place a second disk on top and carefully seal the edges all around, trying to remove as much air from the center as possible.
- Use one hand to shape the edges of the arepa so that it is an even round disk.
- Melt butter in a 12-inch cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Add arepas and cook, moving them around the pan and rotating them occasionally, until first side is charred in spots and a dry crust has formed, about 5 minutes. Flip arepas and cook on second side until a day crust has formed, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer to a baking sheet and place in oven until heated through and cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
ARROZ CON LECHE COLOMBIANO (Rice Pudding) (https://www.mycolombianrecipes.com/arroz-con-leche-rice-pudding/):
- 1 C long-grain white rice, washed
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 2 C water
- 4 C milk
- Pinch salt
- 2 TBSP butter
- 1-1/2 TBSP vanilla extract
- 1 C sugar
- One 12 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- In a small pot, add water and cinnamon sticks, bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Set aside and discard cinnamon sticks.
- Place the rice and the cinnamon water in a large saucepan, over medium heat and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add salt, butter, vanilla extract, 2 C of milk, and sugar.
- Stir well to mix and cook uncovered for approximately 15 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium low.
- Add the remaining milk and condensed milk.
- Stir with a wooden spoon. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the rice pudding thickens to desired consistency.
- Stir well and remove from heat, and let it cool at room temperature. The consistency should be very creamy.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.