KIMAYA Purple Corn Drink

The other day I was faced with a tough decision: Coke or Kimaya. I chose Kimaya because after I read the flyer I realized that I had found the fountain of youth...no, not really, but they certainly claim that the drink is good for just about everything - it lowers cholesterol, it's anti-ageing, rich in vitamin C, calcium, and the list goes on and on...

The drink was actually quite good. It's sweetened with just enough cane sugar and tastes like fruit juice, kind of. I can't say it tastes like corn, or more specifically purple or blue corn, but it was nice and refreshing. So far the drink, which is made in Colombia, is only available at this one place - YdeYuca at the Codabas market in the northern part of Bogotá. It's worth the trip to check out the produce market and shops and then  feast on the best carimañolas in town and a Kimaya.

Cra. 7 No. 180 – 75


Abasto Restaurant in Usaquen

Recently we tried a new restaurant - not new to Bogotá but new to us. We usually end up at the same old favorites but this time we decided to be a little more adventurous.

This time we headed over to Usaquen. This part of Bogotá used to be considered outside the city limits a long time ago, but the city has grown so much that now it's right in the middle of it all. Despite the fact that sprawl has managed to swallow it whole, the area retains a really quaint feeling. A lot of the architecture remains in tact, there is a weekend flea market that is generally a bit more "up scale" than the one downtown, and you can stroll through the streets, some of which are still cobblestone.  Usaquen, in other words, is really nice. I love it and even moreso now that there are so many restaurants popping up.

One of them is called Abasto (the name refers to pantry provisions) - this place has a changing menu and the idea is that they use only the freshest available ingredients found at the markets every morning. They don't try to be pretentious or anything - it's just good, simple food.

The decor is warm and cozy, the kitchen is open, there's a fireplace in the middle section, and all the way in the back is a little shop/pantry. They stock everything from fresh produce to sea salt from La Guajira, locally made cheese and a whole bunch of goodies (including agave nectar which I had never seen anywhere in Bogotá before).

We started with some empanadas, made in-house. The filling was cheese, mole, and chicken. They were quite good - nothing out of this world - but yummy, served with an avocado puree instead of the traditional ají.

As a main I had Penne with Calamari, Chorizo and Fresh Tomatoes. Very homey dish but the flavor of the chorizo was awesome. Really nice combination of flavors and something you could easily whip up at home.

I apologize for the pictures - I know they look less than appetizing, first due to the Blackberry camera and second because the presentation isn't really their forte - I guess it's part of their "charm".

The other main we tried was a very simple seared salmon with a side of roasted mini-potatoes (pastusa and criolla varieties) with thyme and olive oil and a minty chimichurri sauce. Again, like my dish it was simple, nothing extravagant, but the flavors were all fresh and stood out for what they were.

On a side note: my dining partner and beau is in the learning process when it comes to some foods so when I identified the stem in his potatoes as thyme (tomillo in spanish) he ate it. Yes, he ate the twig...haha...we've got some more learning to do.

Well, by the time we finished eating, twigs and all, we had no room for dessert but I will be back for that another day. They had some nice sounding ones including a chocolate torte that I had read about in a review somewhere.

Cra 6 . # 119b - 52



Gastronomía @ Corferias

So, yesterday I went to the Gastronomía event and ate a whole lot. Unfortunately I don't have much of a knack for photography so I didn't take a single picture....I know, I know, there's no excuse.

But anyways, here is a quick recap of what was eaten at the Local Cuisine pavilion:
Arepa de Chocolo (sweet, yellow corn cake with cheese)
Longaniza from Sutamarchan
+ the rest of the goodies from a picada like papa criolla, morcilla, chicharron, ripe plantain, etc.
Tangerine juice

We were so full after this first stop that we didn't have room for much more even though we still had the International Cuisine pavilion left to visit. An espresso from Amor Perfecto was nice and strong with a beautiful crema and finally, dessert from the 14 Inkas stand (a Peruvian restaurant in Bogotá) called Bananarequipe - or something like that. It was an excellent combination of a banana mousse with arequipe  and little pieces of cake that had been moistened by the other ingredients. I wanted to have a second course of dessert but they had sold out of merengón!!! I will post on this exquisite dessert soon because I was left with a serious craving.

All in all it was a nice fair. There didn't seem to be a lot of people but maybe that was due to the fact that this weekend is a holiday and the weather hasn't been so great. There were a number of cooking competitions and demonstrations, barista competitions, and a few amusing infomercial kind of stands selling knives, pans, and mandolines.

On a side note, some culinary students from the SENA (government funded educational program) created a dessert called "Postre de la Pasión" whose ingredients include passion fruit and Viagra - yes, that Viagra. According to this article , the students received some guidance from a doctor while they were developing the dessert. I don't know if Passion or Prescription would be a more apt name for this dessert/concoction.