Decision time has come once again, this time between the cuisines of Trinidad and Tobago and Colombia. We got to experience Trinidadian cooking and its Caribbean ingredients prepared according to west African and Indian methods. We made our own version of Trinidadian callaloo, a creamy dish of greens simmered with okra and coconut milk with obvious African roots that was somehow rich, decadent, and healthy at the same time. It’s best not to question good fortune sometimes.
Colombia is a land of contrasts, with a widely varied landscape matched by its diversity of local ingredients and cooking techniques. The common thread is heartiness. Colombians earn their livelihoods working the land and water, and need a stout diet to provide fuel for their endeavors. Potatoes are indigenous to the region, and Colombian cooks take full advantage. Our foray into Colombian cuisine was a great success with the specialty of the Bogota region, ajiaco, a dish built around the potato.
So, which did we prefer? It was pretty close in our minds but we felt that Colombian food had the slight edge and will move on to the final qualifying round, where it will meet Puerto Rico for a spot in the World Cup of Food.