• Eyes on Fire - Blue Foundation
  • Rooster - Alice in Chains
  • Jigsaw Falling into Place - Radiohead
  • Quien Fuera - Silvio Rodriguez
  • La Tortura - Shakira

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Seetaphal in Bogota?

I had been pressuring my Colombian coworkers to make sure they arranged for my favorite fruit - Sapota or Chikkoo in India also known as Zapote in Colombia - by the time I got here. Unfortunately, Bogota doesn't quite have the tropical heat required for the fruit so it wasn't available when I did get here.

However, Bogota has MORE than it's share of amazing fruits that I've been devouring in the form of milk shakes. Of particular note is the Guanabana - the local name for Seetaphal. The creamy texture of this fruit lends itself to a milk shake. Another new fruit I encountered is called Copo Azul - an amazonian fruit that has a similarly creamy white pulp.

Without exceptions, EVERY meal I've had at Bogota has been a revelation. You won't believe the variety of vegetarian options you get in most restaurants here. They range from delicately spiced lentil soups to delicious crepes (Crepes and Waffles), pastas (Di Lucca) and get this - Sushi rolls. 'The Wok' had 6 vegetarian rolls that were absolutely mind-blowing. It says something when I haven't had to order a salad here so far.

Even well known fast food chains like 'Crepes and Waffles' have a great variety of cheap but unbelievably tasty vegetarian options. They had one crepe called the "The Gandhi" .. with curried tofu. I resisted my patriotic impulses and instead got the portobello/goat cheese/arugula crepe - I was blown away.

If you ever get to go down to Bogota - check out these restaurants. You won't be disappointed.

Colombian Coffee ..

.. takes on a whole new meaning when you are IN Colombia. I'm by no means an ardent coffee lover - that would be someone like Manju. However, I do possess taste buds that are qualified enough to identify that the coffee at work really sucks and coffee that's not free is only marginally better. In 8 years in the US, I've barely spent $10 on caffeinated beverages.

So, when I was headed down to Colombia for a business trip, I was curious to test my Colombian co-workers assertions about the quality of Colombian coffee. After four days, I can honestly say that even the worst coffee I had here tastes better than the best coffee I had in the states. More often than not, I'm surprised by the flavor of the coffee - I always have it with milk.

Over the last few days I tasted gourmet coffee in restaurants with a reputation, from coffee machines at work and even the free breakfast lounge in the hotel I stay at. They have all been great. I'll be taking back some coffee. Not sure if I can replicate the magic back home.

Let's see ..