Road Trip: Sutamarchán, Boyacá

On a recent road trip my family and I stopped in a little town called Sutamarchán. This town, located in the department or state of Boyacá, is rougly 3.5 hours from Bogotá. It's pretty tiny and there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of things to do, so it wasn't our main destination. It was after hearing a few good tips from a famliy friend though, that we planned our itinerary around having lunch there. Sutamarchán, as it turns out, is known for one particular kind of sausage:


I'm not sure where the name comes from but apparently its most obvious characteristics are that it is long and thin - hence the name "long"aniza? Who knows....in any case, it's delicious. The thin, condimented sausage is made with roughly chopped pork meat and has that bright reddish color like other sausages. It's common in many places around the world, like Spain, Chile, Argentina, some countries in the Caribbean and Colombia. In Spain there are about half a dozen kinds, flavored with different spices and often cured. The ones we usually find in Colombia are fresh and require cooking.

We hadn't been given the name of any particular restaurant so we drove around until we saw one that looked popular. It was a little tricky seeing as all the restaurants we drove past had tons of longaniza hanging out in the front and most of the tables were full of locals. Finally we chose "La Fogata" and it turned out to have been quite a good selection.

Of course the longaniza did not come alone. It had a few accompaniments of morcilla (blood sausage with rice and peas), small chunks of grilled beef and pork, cheese filled arepas, papa criolla, plátano maduro (ripe plantain) and yuca. On top of that we ordered an additional serving of longaniza and one of chicharron (fried pork skin/fat). And on top of THAT, ají and guacamole.

Indeed, it isn't the healthiest of meals but it really is satisfying. Most of the items, if not all, leave a nice shimmer of grease on your fingers and on your lips...no need for lip balm! It's the same kind of meal that I shared from "El Chorote" where a whole lot of food is piled onto a platter and everyone picks at it (usually these places are called piqueteaderos...maybe they got their name from the act of "picking"?)

So, if you should ever find your self in Villa de Leyva (the beautiful colonial town that was our destination) or around Boyacá, make sure to swing by Sutamarchán. It's on the way to other sightseeing destinations like Ráquira, Chiquinquira and Villa de Leyva. Well, even if it isn't on the way I would still go out of my way to have lunch there.

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