I was in Colombia for the first time last Christmas. Bryce and I were visiting his grandma and aunt for the holidays in Calí.
Going into the trip, I knew I wouldn’t have abundant food options as a vegetarian. After all, at the Colombian restaurant back home in Seattle, my only viable option is to order the steak salad and just give the steak to Bryce.
But, I’m OK with this.
I may come across as a picky eater. But, I’m not. I’ll eat dishes that are cooked with meat — as long as I don’t have to eat the meat part. So, soups made of beef or chicken broth? OK by me! In fact, soups made from meat broth taste wayyyy better than vegetable broth based soups! Alright, I’m getting off track …
We were in Colombia for Christmas.
I ate a lot of new fruits. I had lulo (and lulo juice) for the first time. I tried tree tomato. I tried granadilla, which I wasn’t a fan of. I didn’t like that you mainly eat seeds with that fruit. I also ate a lot of fresh avocados!
And, since we mostly ate at home, I ate delicious soups that his mom and aunt made for us.
And, of course, I had a lot of starch. Pan de bono. Fried plantains. Potatoes.
We were in Colombia for a week and I was feeling totally fine — until the last few days before the end of our trip. I started having “stomach issues.” It all began one night when I woke up and spent a lot of time in the bathroom. I went back to sleep but woke up in the morning with an unsettling feeling in my stomach.
Bryce’s aunt bought me cola, which was supposed to help subside my gastrointestinal issues. His mom had me drink tea. Everyone has their own remedies for an upset stomach, right? For breakfast, I ate saltine crackers.
“Maybe it’s because you have been eating those huge avocados daily …” Bryce said.
He had a point. But, the avocados in Colombia are three times the size of the ones I see in the United States! They are so creamy and delicious. Can you blame me for eating one a day?
In summary, getting a little sick was worth all the avocado indulgences.
And, even as a vegetarian, there are still ways to try new foods while visiting a new country.