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Empanada de yuca

A crispy empanada de yuca from Doña Maria’s in Barichara, Colombia.

What: Empanadas in Colombia, as we’ve noted, are typically deep-fried cornmeal half-moons filled with various ingredients: shredded pork, beef, or chicken; rice or potato; hard-boiled egg; chopped onion and tomato; sometimes cheese or spinach. This brand of empanada, however, is made with yucca, and is more unique to this part of Colombia—though yucca in general is most popular near Colombia’s coast, where there is a similar treat called carimañola (fried yucca fritter). Like other empanadas, these are served with lime and aji, a delicious spicy sauce of cilantro, onion, garlic, vinegar, and hot peppers.

Where: Our favorite empanada in all of Colombia was the delicately fried, fresh empanada de yuca at Doña Maria’s in Barichara (Carrera 5 between Calles 3 & 4; look for the wooden “Arequipe” sign), made with yucca, rice, chicken, and egg. It seemed the whole town flocked to her tiny storefront for these empanadas, and for good reason.

Order: An empanada de yuca (1,200 COP), followed by some sweet arequipe.


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