One Family's Return Trip: Buying Bread

My husband jokes that being Colombian means that you could never do the Atkins diet because rather than an all protein diet, you are pretty much on the all carbohydrate diet. Not a lunch is served without rice, not a breakfast without arepa and/or bread. But, not the milquetoast sliced bread we buy here -- NOOOOOO! It has to be the fresh, baked within the last hour kind. In fact, though sliced bread is available at stores like Carrefour or Carrulla. DO NOT BUY IT! It is dry and gross. Only good for toast, and not many people have toasters.
Back to the bread. In smaller cities, there are PANADERÍAS everywhere. In Bogotá they are harder to find. But, they smell delicious!!! Your nose can literally lead you to them. You can know that you have found a good one if there are lots of people buying bread there. In some cases, the bread is behind glass containers and you tell the workers which kind you want. In others, like the one pictured here, you grab a basket or tray, a pair of tongs, and choose what you want. Then take it to the cash register and pay for it -- there's no sampling.
Here are some key words:
Integral -- means whole wheat
Relleno -- means stuffed, usually with something sweet like guava paste
Bocadillo -- the guava paste
Queso -- Cheese
Hawaiano -- which means it has pineapple. In fact, anything with added pineapple is called Hawaiano: pizza, hot dogs, arepas, hamburgers, sandwiches, etc.


Aimee Cordero said…
Ay, I will do well in Colombia. Just like Puerto Rico, bread has to be super fresh. My husband gained 8 pounds in a week. It was the bread. Can't wait to go to Colombia.

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