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Mar 12

Brothers and Sisters: The odd similarity between Colombian and British food

Bandeja Paisa

At the risk of offending people on both sides of this discussion, Colombian food and British food aren’t internationally known for their experimental or sophisticated nature. That said, people in both countries are extremely fond of their national cuisine, and will stop at nothing to defend it.

That’s not where the similarities end, however. Both countries have long specialized in food that fills you up for a working day; giving you energy for some hard manual labour. For us Brits it was for mining, for Colombians it will have been to farm. Either way, plates are big, hearty and reasonably easy to prepare. Surprisingly, this has lead to some remarkably similar dishes. Here are my pick of the brother and sister dishes of Colombian and British cuisine.

Bandeja Paisa and the English Breakfast

Bandeja Paisa

Bandeja Paisa, image courtesy of cvanda (

English Breakfast

English Breakfast

This is perhaps the most startlingly similar of all the pairs and, as such, has to be put first. Both are huge, greasy, barely manageably dishes that are basically the result of an explicit “more is more” philosophy.

Coffee and Tea





Although globalisation has inevitably brought tea to Colombia and coffee to England, these are quitessentially national beverages drunk at alarming rates in their respective lands.

Arepa and Sandwich

Arepa Costena

Arepa Costeña

Sandwich, courtesy of dinnercraft (

Sandwich, courtesy of dinnercraft (

While I’m hardly the biggest fan of arepas, you can see the similarities here. It’s just that bread is, y’know, better, and the sandwich has had many centuries to perfect itself in various countries. Give the arepa time, however, and it may just catch up.

Empanadas and Cornish Pasties

Delicious, quick, cheap. The empanada. (Photo courtesy of eddy milfort -

Delicious, quick, cheap. The empanada. (Photo courtesy of eddy milfort –

Cornish Pasty, image courtesy of djackmanson (

Cornish Pasty, image courtesy of djackmanson (

Empanadas and Cornish pasties are long lost twins, no doubt about it. Stuffed with onion and meat, they’re both delicious. Empanadas take the crown, however, just for their variety and the lack of such a strong post-feast onion smell.

Mojarra Frita and Fish & Chips

Mojarra Frita, image courtesy of

Mojarra Frita, image courtesy of

Fish and Chips, image courtesy of sk8geek (

Fish and Chips, image courtesy of sk8geek (

When people think of British food, they think of fish and chips. Who knew that Colombia would have its very own version?


Any more ideas? Leave us a comment!


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One Comment on “Brothers and Sisters: The odd similarity between Colombian and British food

Margarita says:

if only the full English had the Colombian Beans it will be just perfect!

Sunday Roast is my favourite food though

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