A family friend recently visited the beautiful city of Cartagena in Colombia. Luckily for me they also brought back an impressive array of treats for everyone. Apparently there were lots of grocery stores and supermarkets dotted around so it was easy enough to pick up Colombian brands. I must admit that when I go abroad this is one of the things I find most interesting and I always bring back a few groceries!
Juan Valdez Vanicanela & Chocolate Café Colombiano: Colombia is famous for it's coffee production but I hadn't actually heard of this brand before. Juan Valdez is actually a popular coffeehouse chain in Colombia and I was lucky enough to try out a few of their flavoured instant coffees, a Chocolate flavour and the Vanicanela which is a blend of vanilla and cinnamon. These coffees are both absolutely delicious with natural flavours rather than being too artificial or overpowering. The Vanicanela is gorgeous with a delicate vanilla flavour and a hint of authentic cinnamon. The Chocolate flavoured coffee is delicious too, so smooth and a perfect balance of flavours without being too sweet.
Juan Valdez Cafés de Origen Gourmet Selection: I also received this lovely ground coffee gift set featuring gourmet coffees from different regions of Colombia. We've been making these in a cafetiere each morning and they really provide a great kickstart to our day! All the varieties we've tried so far have created a smooth tasting, perfect cup of coffee.
Jet Chocolate: Jet is the most popular candy bar in Colombia and was apparently easy to find in a small supermarket near the hotel that my friend stayed in. They brought back two varieties, the original milk chocolate and a new Cookies & Cream version. The milk chocolate Jet was not really edible as the chocolate itself had a sour 'off' flavour. I'm not sure if this was because it had suffered some heat damage or if it's just too similar to Hershey's for my taste. In contrast, the Jet Cookies & Cream is a white chocolate and Oreo-type cookie confection that was much tastier and enjoyed by all.
Plantain Chips: I've always been a fan of plantain chips (see my reviews HERE and HERE) and these two are no exception. The NatuChips Platano Maduro had a lovely golden colour and rich fried flavour with a hint of salt, whilst the Turbana Chips had a delicious hint of Lime for added flavour.
NatuChips Yuca: Fried yuca is apparently popular in Latin American as a side dish and snack food. It's said to be a creamier and sweeter alternative to fried potatoes. I haven't had a chance to try this chip snack version yet but I'm really intrigued to try them - I'll update soon!
Kellogg's Cinnabon: The supermarkets in Cartagena also had a lot of American groceries at very reasonable prices. I've been wanting to try this Kellogg's Cinnamon cereal for ages and it's impossible to get hold of in the UK (at least without paying a small fortune!). As a cinnamon fan, I really enjoyed this cereal and I wish Kellogg's would release it here too.
Wayuu Mochila Bags: Not food related, but you really can't go to Cartagena without buying one of the stunning handmade Wayuu bags - the more colourful and patterned the better! I also have one in black with a colourful strap that I wear more often, but this neon bright one just makes me happy to look at it!
I hope you enjoyed this Colombian shopping haul. A massive thank you to my lovely friend for utterly spoiling us all with these treats!