Yet another Cartagena lunch: comida costeña

November 19, 2010 • 2:09 pm

It seems a bit churlish to post my lunch so soon after I’ve written about the tools of the Inquisition, but otherwise I’ll forget.

Today I decided to sup on comida costeña, the typical food of the Colombian coast, at La Casa de Socorro, one of the more famous fish restaurants in Cartagena.

The first course, accompanied by passionfruit juice, was patacones con tollo, dogfish shark with the wonderful mashed, fried plantain cakes:

Main course: bandejo de pargo a la cosquera (red snapper in seafood sauce with coconut milk). It was served with more patacones, a plate of coconut rice (a local speciality: rice steamed in coconut milk—yum!) and washed down with more passionfruit juice.

5 thoughts on “Yet another Cartagena lunch: comida costeña

  1. One thing I’ve been wondering: how spicy (via capsaicin) is Colombian food? Just judging from the pictures and the descriptions…I have no clue. For example, a coconut-based sauce can work great as something sweet, and it can also work great as something savory and fire-breathingly-hot (such as the Thais do so splendidly with their curries).

    Regardless, I’ve really been envying you your gastronomical explorations recently….



    1. In my limited experience here, the spice is not inherent in the food, but is always added in the form of dips or sauces. So, depending on your predilection, it can get quite spicy.

      1. That makes lots of sense.

        It gives you a chance to appreciate the subtleties of the dish without being overwhelmed by heat and it gives you a chance to enjoy the sauce by itself and it gives you a chance to mix the two to your own personal preference (which might even change throughout the course of the meal).

        In the second picture, the ramekin to the left of the plate of limes looks like it might have a pepper-based sauce in it…? To the right…a thick, cream-based sauce?

        I don’t know of any Columbian restaurants in town…I’m thinking I might have to start Googling some recipes….



  2. It was in comparative anatomy long ago that I had my only encounter with a dogfish shark, the olfactory impact of which still lingers. Even telling myself that the aroma was a combination of formalin, various amines and heavily oxidized fish oil I think I’d still have a hard time selecting that off the menu sight unseen. Thanks for fixing that!

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