Got the food blues in Bolivia

Women at market in Bolivia

If you’re feeling a little blue, then travelling to Bolivia could be right up your alley thanks to a great local treat.

Maize is a food with endless permutations; fresh, popped, ground into flour for bread, as a syrup, or an oil. Travelling through Latin America you will find so many delicious foods with maize as the main ingredient. Travelling in Bolivia you will find something extra special. A blue maize drink called api.

In the high altitudes of this incredible country, there is nothing as delightful as sitting on an old wooden bench in a crowded market and being served this hot, thick, purple drink by a Quechan woman in layers of skirts and a bowler hat. Cooked in a big cauldron-like pot, this rich colourful drink is made with cinnamon, cloves, sugar and lemon – so it will not only warm your spirits but nourish your soul.

You’ll find it all over Bolivia in markets, at street stalls, and in cafes. Try it with humitas (fresh corn with cheese wrapped in corn leaves and steamed) or for breakfast with saltenas (a savoury pastry of chicken or meat with potatoes, greens and sauce) – trust me, it’s more delicious than it looks!

* Photo of women in Bolivia by Adam Williams.

About the author

Jacqueline Donaldson - Melbourne-based former nomad, Jacqueline has been writing and travelling for more years than she cares to admit. With over 45 countries under her belt and a weird penchant for never fully unpacking, she works as an editor and copywriter for Intrepid – the one company she knows of that accepts (if not encourages) her quirks and wanderlust.

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