As a vegetarian traveling to a country whose most traditional dish includes three different types of meat, I was a little skeptical of the cuisine that awaited me in Colombia. However, a recent trip to the farmer’s market with my host family replaced all of my worries with excitement — and fruit, lots of fruit.
In fact, I discovered that Colombians are very proud of their produce. Everywhere I turned in the market, vendors were handing out free samples. Signs boasted of the variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers available. My host parents explained to me the health benefits of each unique fruit, especially the organic ones. We ate wedges of salted avocado, enjoyed fresh guanabana, slurped the seeds out of granadillas, and became sticky with watermelon juice. Even though farm-fresh produce might not be the national dish of Colombia, it is certainly an important part of their culture and one I have greatly enjoyed!