“Sancocho” is the national dish of Colombia. This statement can trigger a lot of hot debates (like the soup itself). However, there’s no denying that this recipe is the most widely used throughout Colombian territory.
From the Guajira to the Amazon, from the Pacific to the Caribbean. At this very moment, in some jungle, coast, plain, desert, mountain or páramo of Colombia, someone is eating a “Sancocho” made from pork, fish, chicken, beef or simply vegetarian.
If you don’t know what a “Sancocho” is, you may try looking on Wikipedia or check the Spanish Royal Academy’s Dictionary, but any of this definitions will be unable to fully explain what this dish is all about. That’s because this colombian soup is essentially chaotic: due to the variety of ingredients and the different ways to prepare it, you can’t have the same Sancocho twice.
That’s why we truly believe no other dish is so distinctive and authentically Colombian. To understand a nation as diverse and complex as Colombia, there is no better way than through its food.
First of all, because we Colombians love food. Even after eating our lunch and having Coffee or dessert we are still talking about food. Every social gathering, celebration or special occasion will be stacked with substantial amounts of food. We even organize festivals and beauty contests to honor different foods!
However, it is paradoxical that this manifestation of our culture has been little explored, and even underestimated. For years we have used foreign recipes, traditions and ingredients in that constant search for our identity.
If we are able to take that gastronomic journey to every corner of our country, we could manage to consolidate that Colombian identity that seems so elusive, so indecipherable. As long as we accept and embrace the gastronomy of traditionally segregated or marginal regions, like the Pacific or the Amazon, we will be able to complete this puzzle together.
Fortunately for Colombian cuisine, a new generation of cooks and chefs decided to rediscover our grandmothers’ recipes and local ingredients and through their work make this country a far better place to live.