First and foremost, Colombia should be on the culinary map alone for its variety and quality of fruit.
Then you have the other end of the spectrum like this "Bandeja Paisa". It literally translates to Paisa Plate (Paisa being the nickname for those from Medellín) and will ensure you're full till breakfast the next day.
Another delicious Colombian custom is the all out "asado" where families and friends gather together to enjoy like and plenty of grilled foods.
But Colombia has elegant culinary tastes as well. Here you see a shrimp and whitefish ceviche from a 5-star Cartagena restaurant.
And no Colombian meal is complete without the country's primary edible export: coffee.
In the larger cities, huge food markets artistically display their fruits and vegetables in order to attract a hungry crowd.
One of our favorite restaurants in Colombia is called Queareparaenamorarte. It serves authentic dishes with top quality meats and home-grown vegetables and herbs. They cook everything in an open kitchen so you can literally watch and smell your food cooking while you wait.
The open kitchen at Queareparaenamorarte.
The herb garden at Queareparaenamorarte.
These red berries are called "carosos" and require a rock or nutcracker to open. Beside them are traditional cooking dishes that can be put directly into the oven or over a flame.
Queareparaenarmorarte takes normal Colombian foods and turns them into to-die-for-dishes.
This dish is grilled chicken breast, topped with homemade chimichurri with sides of creole potatoes and honey.
This dish is a freshwater trout and shrimp ceviche over rice, combined with a smashed plantain known as a "patacón", wrapped in a banana leaf and then steamed.
This dish is called chicharrón, a very traditional Colombian food similar to pork cracklings, with steamed yucca on the side.
This dish is stacked seabass with sides of homemade salsa, mashed potatoes, and plantain chips.
This dish is skewered medallions of tenderloin beef, covered in homemade chimichurri, with a side of oven roasted potatoes and cheese.
And this might just be heaven on a grill. Su Casa Colombia guide Noah's absolute favorite food in Colombia is the "arepa de chocolo". Imagine moist corn bread that's lightly cooked on both sides like a pancake, then top it with a little butter and two thick slices of cheese. Delicious.
Here we see the San Frantastic Four preparing to devour the delicious "arepa de chocolo".
This is an "oblea", a delicious Colombian treat. You put one wafer on the bottom, cover it in "dulce de leche" (similar to caramel), then another wafer layer to seal it in. Then cover that wafer with fresh cream, sliced fruit (strawberries are an excellent choice), and then finally another wafer to top it off. Yum!
Some popcorn vendors coat their snack in a variety of candy colors.
Being a tropical paradise, you can expect there to be some of these.
Pineapples could be expected, but how about over half a dozen different varieties of avocados?
This odd looking cactus fruit is called the "pitaya" and takes months to mature. Despite its prickly exterior, it's actually quite delicious.
Another in the spiky fruit family is the "guayabana" which can grow larger than a rugby ball.
But of course, Colombia also has plenty of the garden variety fruits and vegetables like the potatoes, carrots, onions, and cucumbers seen here.
Tomatoes are a staple here in Colombia as they are used in everything from salads to salsas to pastas and more.
This adorable fruit is called the "mangostino". It has a hard shell but inside, it's sweet and delicious.
The inside of the "mangostino" resembles garlic cloves but the taste is the exact opposite.
This tart tasting fruit is called "curuba" but is also known as passion fruit.
Papaya is eaten throughout Colombia.
Something that few people know is that bananas actually grow upwards when on the tree!
This is a common sight in Colombia: a gigantic and full bowl of fresh fruit.
This is what many Colombians eat for lunch: grilled meat, steamed yucca, fresh salad, and an Aguila beer.
This is part of Su Casa Colombia's fruit tasting activity. Here we have "zapote" (orange slices in the middle), "pitaya" (the white with black seeds), "granadilla" (the orange half circles), and "guayabana" (in the bowl).
Colombian cappuccinos and cinnamon rolls from a local coffee shop.
"Perros" or hot dogs are a common snack sold off of carts all over Colombia. The basic food is the same but the toppings can differ; look for anything from salsas to cabbage to cheese to potato sticks.
Some fruit vendors have more than just delicious food to offer. Some offer entertainment.
This lengthy table full of Caribbean coast delicacies was enough to make our mouths water. And the low price of everything was enough to fill them up!
Another common street vendor sight is this one with various types of fresh fruits chopped up and prepackaged for take away.
This picture taken from an elevated Metro station shows a pretty and symmetric fruit cart passing by a less symmetric but very colorful chewing gum vendor.
Fresh fruit juice is made to order in many Colombian cities.
This full plate of food is known as a "plato del día" or plate of the day. Thousands of restaurants across the country offer some variety of this meal during lunch hours for a very reasonable price. The meal usually includes a grilled meat, salad, bowl of soup or beans, fried egg, plantain, an arepa, rice, and a drink.
Here is another version of the "plato del día", this time with french fries instead of a soup.
This is the Caribbean coast's version of the "plato del día" including an entire fried fish, coconut rice, shredded salad, and "patacónes" or smashed then fried plantains.
Another cheap but delicious eat is a more simple one: a bowl of beans and an "empanada".
Speaking of fried foods, here is an array of them. From front to back we have "arepas con huevo", "empanadas de carne", "empanadas de papa", and a hushpuppy-type snack in the back left.
Caribbean coast style fried fish covered in shrimp and scallops with a side of coconut rice.
On the Caribbean coast, you'll find all sorts of seafood dishes, including this salad covered in shrimp and fish.
Colombians are also very fond of their pastries. Here we see an array of "palitos de queso" or little cheese sticks.
Another delicious pastry: "pan de yucca".
Colombians also enjoy pizza in many different forms. Here we see a BBQ chicken pizza with mushrooms and fresh basil.
This is a high energy snack known as "agua de panela con quesito". The hot, cinnamon-flavored drink is high in sugar and taste and the thick slice of cheese fills you up.
A simple dish of beans and an "arepa".
And this is Colombia's most popular drink: Aguardiente. There are several varieties of "guaro" as it is fondly nicknamed but all serve a common purpose. The drink has a low alcohol percentage, is cheap to purchase, and is universally recognized as a social beverage. An evening out could involve nothing more than a few friends gathered around a table with a bottle of "guaro"
Aguardiente is commonly served with fresh sliced mango, oranges, limes, or other tasty fruits. This helps tame the aftertaste and also provides for some healthy and delicious snacks.
Many Colombians prefer their beer served "michelada" which means a healthy amount of lime juice at the bottom with a salt-rimmed glass. It's very refreshing.