You may imagine that a Colombian kitchen is pretty much like most other kinds of kitchens, but you`d be wrong. Terribly, terrifyingly wrong. They may look the same, but just like everything else in life – whether it be trapdoors or Kinder Surprises – it`s what`s inside that counts. It`s the contents that distinguish the true Colombian kitchen, and I`m afraid, if you don`t have the following, your kitchen isn`t really that Colombian at all.
1. Jug and Mixer for Hot Chocolate
Now, let me stop you before your minds get all filthy regarding that long, cylindrical object with one thick end. No, it`s not what you`re thinking. It`s totally impractical for swatting flies. Believe me, I`ve tried. It actually goes by the scientific name (don`t argue) of Chocolate Mixer Dooflacky, and no self-respecting Colombian Kitchen would be without one. Use it with a Thingummy-Jig, such as the green one in the expertly-taken photo above, and you`ll be making hot chocolate like a Colombian. Don`t be shy; try it with a hunk of flavourless, I mean sorry Marcela completely delicious, cheese…
Oh yeah, I`ve also found the Chocolate Mixer Dooflacky the perfect implement for muddling stuff for cocktails…
2. Mexican Elbow
Speaking of cocktails, back when I was a bartender and thinking I was cool, I thought I was especially cool when I used the implement depicted in the above picture. Inexplicably, we called it a Mexican Elbow, and I thought I cut quite the dashing figure squeezing my limes for my classic daiquiris in them. That was until I came to Colombia, and realised I wasn`t cool at all, but that Colombia actually was. Over here, these nifty gadgets aren`t restricted to fancypants bartending tosspots, but are in pretty much every kitchen. Doesn`t mean they`re not helpful in the making of classic daiquiris, though now, does it?
OK, OK, before you get all up in arms and berate me with the fact that plenty of kitchens around the world possess blenders, let me just say that this might be true, but I`m going to go out on a limb here and say that few blenders around the world get such a workout as Colombian ones. Due to the outrageous bounty of fruit this country blesses us with all year, the most amazingly delicious fresh juice is a staple, and will be drunk with pretty much every meal. Which, healthwise, is probably a good thing, as we`ll discuss later…
4. Coffee Strainer
Colombia is the land of coffee. And Colombians drink litres of the stuff – black and straight up. No fussing around with fancypants plungers or Nescafe machines here: it`s done the time-tested way, usually in a Thingummy-Jig (see above), and then strained through the above implement. There`s no more genuine way to enjoy a proper Colombian tinto.
5. Egg Frypan
The cutest thing in any Colombian kitchen isn`t me. But thanks for saying so. It`s that teeny-tiny frypan for cooking individual fried eggs. Oh yeah, eggs is another thing Colombians go through absolute mountains of. Generally at least one every morning. Watch out on the Transmilenio, guys!!
6. Arepa Frypan
Developing a theme of things Colombians can`t live without that also require a frypan, the above object is essential in any arepa production you may try at home. If you`re into that kind of thing, of course. This kind of frypan is like a grill you have when you don`t have a grill, and works a charm. Doesn`t work so well as a racquetball racquet, but hey, sometimes one must improvise.
7. Serviette Holder
I think I`ve talked about this phenomenon before, but Colombians go crazy over serviettes, and, as such, would feel a little weird if they didn`t find at least one serviette holder on any given table.
This has also been covered by my trusty side-kick and boss, Azzam, but you`re not going to impress me with the Colombianess of your kitchen unless your oven is used for the sole purpose of storing pots and pans, and possibly cooking oil. So, don`t even try.
Well, those are my eight selections. There are plenty more, so I`d like to see what else you can come up with. What else, apart from an almost complete lack of vegetables, does a kitchen need to have before it can truly be called Colombian? Comment box below, kitchen fans!