Gastronomy is one more cultural manifestation, In this article I will talk about the paisa tray, which although it is the traditional dish of Antioquia is known throughout the Colombian territory. Before talking to you about this dish, I want to explain a little what a typical lunch in Colombia consists of, which is eaten around 12:30 p.m. Whatever you are doing, you have to leave it and go to lunch, then there is no time to finish.
The typical Colombian lunch consists of a soup, meat (beef), chicken or vegetables, and a dry. The dry is a tray with salad, rice, patacón, and meat or fish. There is no custom of having dessert and neither do they drink coffee as a final point. What the "lunch menu" does include is drink, the custom of drinking soda is widespread, but the traditional thing would be panela water or natural juices. But the paisa tray, in itself, because of the amount of food it carries, is a lunch and is served as such.
Paisa tray, ingredients
As I told you, the paisa tray is typical of Antioquia, but its fame is so widespread that it can be offered to you, with the variants typical of each region, in all places. Remember that In Colombia, many people understand paisa to those who are not from Bogotá, although etymologically speaking, only people from the coffee region are paisas.
Step to list you, as it appears in wikipedia the ingredients that compose it, that its traditional classical presentation is fourteen; twelve of them arranged inside the tray, and two more as an accompaniment:
- White rice
- Powdered, sweaty, or roasted beef
- Chicharrón, which is the frying of the skin of the pig with a little meat.
- Slices of ripe plantain or patacón.
- Antioqueño chorizo with lemon (it is a white chorizo that is roasted, it is not eaten raw)
- Arepa Antioqueña, which is made with hulled yellow or white corn flour.
- Hogao (comes to be like a sauce) with tomato and onion
- Cargo beans or pinto beans
- Sliced natural tomato
The Traditional accompaniments to drink with the paisa tray are, the mazamorra con leche, and they can also offer you ground panela, dulce macho (it refers to the ripe banana, which is not the same as the banana) or guava sandwich, Do not think that it is a guava between two loaves, it is a sweet quince type, but of guava wrapped in leaves!
How to cook the paisa tray
If you have been encouraged to cook it and now that you know all the ingredients, I will tell you how you should make it.
The first thing is to let the beans soak overnight before cooking, then in a pot you cook them until they are soft. While you can go making the rice in a sauce of oil, salt and long onion. In almost all of Latin America they have the custom of washing the rice two or three times before putting it to boil, so that it releases the starch, but there the taste of each one or each one.
In another pan, sauté the minced meat and add half of the hogao, as I explained, hogao is a kind of tomato and onion sauce, and stir with a spoon. You make the pork rinds yourself by frying the pork with the skin.
When everything is done Serving on a tray, the chicharrones aside, the rice, mix the beans with the meat and also put it, to this you add the patacón (In the next paragraph I will explain how they are made) a couple of fried eggs, and an avocado cut in four. Every good Colombian likes chili pepper, so if you add a little to it, they will appreciate it.
I'll tell you about the patacón. They are basically fried flattened pieces of green banana. They can be eaten alone or by putting anything you can think of on top, although the most common are scrambled eggs, coastal cheese, as you see in the photo, meat, fried fish.
History of the paisa tray
The tray paisa in its current form and composition, is a relatively recent dish, before 1950 there are no references to it. It is surely a commercial evolution, developed in Antioquia restaurants from the traditional Antioqueno "dry", consisting of rice, beans, meat, some fried and plantain, and accompanied by arepa. There are those who defend that it is possible that it has evolved from another common dish in the region, the Tipico Montañero or simply Tipico.
In the newspaper El Tiempo, yes the same in which Gabriel García Márquez wrote as a journalist, wrote an article on the origins of the paisa tray in which they stated that in the 40s it was served in El Maizal, a restaurant in Bogotá, this same tray with the name of Plato Marinillo.
Another version says that Hernando Giraldo, a gourmet and journalist, invented it by accident and marketed it in his restaurant El Zaguán de las Aguas. from the Colombian capital. The anecdote is that a company commissioned a paisa buffet for an event, on the condition that it be elegant. So white tablecloths were arranged and each meal on its large ornate tray. The delighted diners helped themselves to everything on the plate and topped the hill of food with a soft fried egg. Giraldo loved the idea and incorporated it into his letter. Be that as it may, this is a dish that Colombians sigh for when they are outside… and also when they are inside.
In some typical Antioqueño restaurants you can find a variation of the same one that they have called Tray of the seven meats, to which they add, in addition to all the ingredients that I have seen before, roast beef and pork, grilled pork liver and Antioquia blood sausage ... that is to say, a whole calorie bomb, but with a very rich flavor.