Colombia is Cheesy!

Colombians love cheese more than the Swiss! They put cheese in foods you couldn’t imagine putting cheese in! Cheese is both for the main course AND desserts! Let’s look at some cheesy options…

Ham and cheese baked inside a croissant

This can be breakfast, lunch or a snack. The croissant is actually more bread than croissant! You can find this item this item in any panadería  (bakery) . Usually served warm.

Cheese and Guayaba pastry

Guayaba is an ubiquitous flavor here almost as much as cheese! If you bite into any of version of the raw fruit you’ll get a mouthful of seeds much like a pomegranate, and you might go yech! Colombians are amazing at turning it into delicious jams and juices. The guayaba con queso pastry is found everywhere and comes either in a flaky pastry or a bread version. Either version is stuffed with soft cheese and guayaba jam. One bakery of note for this pastry in the Medellín area is La Miguería.

Cheese on or in an arepa

Arepas are a staple here. While small ones are to eat as is, bigger arepas will usually get festooned with native soft cheeses like quesito or quajada (the latter being a tad thicker). A popular combination is an arepa de chocolo with cheese. Almost any type of arepa is available in a version with cheese in the batter or stuffed inside. You might want to try the yuca (cassava) arepa in either combination. We wrote about arepas here.

Cheese on hot coco

You read correctly. Soft cheese floating on hot chocolate.

Pan de queso

As the name implies, small breads with cheese mixed directly into the batter.


Spherical wonders made from corn flour batter mixed with soft cheese. The cheese is hardly detectable. A national favorite for breakfast and snacks.

Palito de queso

A Colombian favorite. Long thin bread stick for one person. It comes in two versions, one with cheese mixed in the batter and one where there’s a chunk of cheese baked into the middle of the stick.

Cheese on ice cream or fruit salad

The preferred way to eat fruit salad or salpicon (fruit salad with juice) and sometimes ice cream is with grated cheese on top. We wrote about salpicon here.

And many, many more…

If it’s Colombian food, there’s pretty good odds there’s cheese in or on it!

Photo by Peter Angritt via Wikimedia Commons
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