Long Weekends In Raquira Part 2: For the Foodies!

This post is strictly for the foodies. And those who like food pics. And those who are interested in food porn.

One thing to know about my family is that we really love to eat and drink well. Some members of my family would prefer not to eat all than to eat something prepackaged or processed. It’s a preference I am completely on board with and wish to incorporate into my life…except that I am hungry 24/7.

When we get together for family events, there is always wine, fantastic cheeses, homemade bread, homemade honey (from my aunt and uncles farm), or the best cuts of meat, farm fresh veggies and eggs, decadent desserts or, occasionally, sushi being hand rolled in the kitchen or the little cousins are mixing ingredients for a dessert. It’s always 100% delicious and full of Jaramillo love.

Grandpa BBQing
Grandpa BBQing

So, a weekend spent in Raquira with my grandpa and family is always going to be a good one. In other words: Foodie Heaven. Should you ever join us on one of these weekends, please don’t arrive with notions of a diet. Leave those in Bogota. The food is too good to pass up!

As I said, wine and cheese are always a staple in our family. So is homemade cheese (queso campesino, from the cows on the farm) and homemade bread.

I still remember waking up every morning as a child during my summer vacations at my grandparents house in Bogota to the smell of warm, fresh baked bread. I think, 18 years later, I still wake up every morning, subconsciously looking for that smell and running to the dining room for it. That’s probably why I have such an affinity to artisanal breads.

[Colombian custom lesson!] In previous posts I’ve mentioned that dinner isn’t the meal of the day in Colombia. Lunch typically is, with dinner usually being a small tapa, leftovers, or an arepa with some cheese. I think the custom stems from el almuerzo (lunch) being a long, drawn out affair on most days. Unlike American’s, Colombians refuse to take their lunch at their desk in front of a computer or paper work. Instead, you head home (or to a friend/family’s home) for a 3-course lunch: first caldo (a soup or broth), next meat or fish with rice and some kind of veggie/plantain. After that is dessert, which could be as simple as guava and cheese, a spoonful of arequipe (dulce de leche-esque), or a beautiful cake. The meal ends when your cafe tinto (black coffee) arrives to wash everything down. [Now you’re familiar with some lunch culture down here!]

Because of the aforementioned custom, dinner with my family is basically bread and cheese and some ham (unless it’s a special event), but don’t be fooled by the simplicity! We love a good, strong cheese and some imported ham with our wine. This particular late night feast as seen on my FB and Instagram was a variety of Stilton, Roquefort, Truffled sheeps milk, homemade queso campesino, bread, wine, and jamon iberico. I told you, foodie heaven.

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The following day was Sunday and Sunday’s always mean brunch, no matter where you are or who you’re with. My grandpa whipped up a salchicha and veggie scramble, accompanied by arepas, queso campesino, honey, papaya and a special reserve cava.

Everyone needed a nap after that so we dispersed to the hammocks and sat and chatted for a few hours. Right before lunch, I decided to whip up a cake for my grandpa to celebrate Father’s Day a bit early. It was a spin on the Bon Appetite ricotta cake I made for Easter, but with an added twist: Wild berry, orange, and thyme. The night before my grandpa dehydrated mandarin oranges so I used some of those for an extra kick. Recipe to come soon!

When the champagne buzz finally wore off, we started on a few tapas: slow cooked oxtail tartine on potatoes, foie gras drizzled with truffled honey (ohmagawd, I was loving every crumb of that) and a tuna and onions cooked in white wine and vinegar. Sorry, but more foodie heaven.

Eventually the cake came out of the oven and that was devoured too.

More wine and reading and naps in hammocks. And eventually a card game that lasted late into the night with my great grandmother.

The next morning (our last morning), after a long walk and some coffee, we feasted on a calentado. Calentado is essentially “leftovers” or rice, meat, maybe some beans and veggies if you have them on hand. For breakfast, an egg is thrown on top or scrambled in, but not always. It’s very classically Colombian and you can find it in most homes and even local restaurants.

We paired it with more coffee, cheese, arepas, and bread and some fresh green tomatoes (picked that day on the farm!) and indulged.

After returning from a day in town, we lunched on some excellent cuts of meat (which I never snapped a photo of) and leftover tapas. Eventually it was time for dessert!

We decided to stick with the theme from the previous day’s dessert. Before lunch, my grandpa and I made an agraz (blueberry), orange, and thyme marmalade to drizzle on top of a Normandy brie my uncle picked up on the way to Raquira. Let me just tell you: I will never buy marmalade again! My grandpa’s recipe is the only way to go and it’s SO simple!

Look at how beautiful it is:

I love being able to come together with my family, share amazing food, and make all these memories. It’s one of the reasons I love living in Colombia. 

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Long Weekends In Raquira Part 2: For the Foodies!

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