Cooking in Bogota

I took a cooking class in Bogota, Colombia! 🇨🇴🇨🇴🇨🇴

I found the class on Airbnb Experiences and had such fun. A sweet couple ran the experience, Gerardo and Sandra. I don’t think I’ve ever met nicer people.

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We started at the Paloquemao Market, where we picked out different fruits, veggies, herbs and meat to bring home to make lunch. Gerardo was an English teacher who taught other Colombian English teachers to help improve their English for their classes, so his language skills were amazing. (I’m an English teacher, too. I told him that was so impressed!) He was very easy to talk to. He knew so much about the cuisine, and was very happy to meet and host tourists, and to help people understand the Colombian culture through his eyes.

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Sandra was a bit shy about speaking English (and my Spanish is outrageously bad haha), but after a few minutes of stuttering, laughing and smiling, and with the help of Gerardo’s excellent translation skills, we made some delicious food and had a wonderful time together!

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They showed me some fun new types of fruit, piles and piles of potatoes, and carrots the size of small baseball bats. I saw green onions that were at least 2 feet long and all the oranges had green rinds. I saw yellow pineapples, green pineapples, and branches drooping with mini green bananas. I saw displays with the comically small Haas avocados (popular in the States) next to the large, pear-shaped avocados, which were at least twice the size of their petite counterparts.

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I saw such strange things at this market. Of course there were many beautiful fruits and veggies, but I also saw some chickens that were growing eggs when they were…taken over the chicken rainbow.

We drove about 15 minutes in the crazy rain and terrible traffic to their beautiful apartment. They had been married for over 30 years and had raised three children who were now grown. You would have never known it, though, as Gerardo and Sandra both looked about 30 years old, and were very flirty and affectionate toward each other. Their place was just perfect for hosting: chopping, mixing and showing me how to make smooshed plantains and choose which herbs to use for a fragrant, delicious, and cold-curing herbal tea.

We made a salad that had onions, tomatoes, avocado and cilantro, and then prepared the chicken with garlic and oil. The tea was delicious and perfect for such a rainy day. We made mashed potatoes and fried arepas. At this point, everything smelled like garlic and onions. I was thinking we would make the arepas that you grill on the stove, but these were soooo tasty (like all fried foods, I suppose haha).

We made a sugary passion fruit juice and some flavorful beans to go along with the chicken. I wished I could have eaten it all, but I could barely finish half of my plate. lol

Their doggie, Lucas, stayed in the backyard because he had made a mess right before we’d arrived, but he was so precious. He barked and barked and whined to come in. I wanted to snuggle him so bad! If only he wasn’t covered in dirt. haha

We hugged goodbye with promises of coming again soon. This was one of my favorite parts of Bogota. I felt like I’d made friends for life.

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Have you taken a cooking class abroad? What was your experience?

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Thanks for reading!

Love,

Kelsey

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