Paloquemao Market, Bogotá

February 12, 2011

On February 12, 2011, Linda and I went to the big, crowded Paloquemao Market in Bogotá with Judith, with whom we were staying. It has four sections: the flowers are outdoors; fruit and vegetables are in big covered spaces; the meat and the fish are both in areas with refrigerated lockers and displays. Nestor, our excellent guide and driver for the day, advised me that I would have to get permission to take any photo, so I limited myself to a few photos of our group. This is too bad as there were many exotic, photogenic flowers, fruits and vegetables I had never seen before. 

Here Linda, Judith and Nestor are buying exotic foliage to go with the big, red exotic flowers they had just bought. Below they are buying lotus flowers.

Here Judith and Nestor are buying for her dinner party that evening while Linda chooses mangos and papayas for our breakfasts.

This was the big, central area.

After the market, Judith took the flowers home while we went to the Gold Museum. This is an enormous display of pre-Colombian Colombian metal and pottery objects with excellent descriptions and histories. The amount of gold is impressive. Linda, Nestor and I then had lunch in the museum’s restaurant, which features traditional Colombian dishes.

Linda had
Se empieza en la parilla y se termina al horno, se sirve con guacamole, mazorca y papas bañadas en hogao.

A chunk of marinated, grilled, then roasted, flank steak was served with guacamole; a potato topped with a good, light hogao, fresh tomato and onion sauce; and a chunk of boiled field corn. Linda really enjoyed this. The meat had a very good flavor.

I had
Plato tipico antioqueño acompañado con arroz blanco, agaucate, plátano, hogao, arepa paisa y chicharrón

The stewed beans were served with a glob of hogao. Alongside was a plate with white rice, an avocado slice, a very crisp plantain chip which one picks up to eat, crispy pork rinds and a simple white potato cake. Nice.

Nestor had
Sopa tipica bogotana hecha a base de papas y guascas, se acompaña con mazorca, pollo desmechado, crema de leche, alcaparras, aguacate y arroz blanco.

Ajiaco is an important, traditional local dish in Bogotá. I would have ordered it, but we knew that Judith would be serving it at the dinner party in her apartment that evening. It uses three kinds of potatoes: one dissolves into the stew and thickens it. The other two provide white and yellow chunks with different textures. One surprise is that the corn is doughy field corn, not the sweet corn we expected. The soup also includes chicken shreds and guascas, an Andean herb regarded as essential for Ajiaco. On top there is a garnish of cream and capers. White rice and an avocado slice are served alongside. Judith’s version was much the same, but the capers were passed in a little bowl.


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