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7 September 2012 / leggypeggy

The beans are sharing

Lunch in Cajitá

Beans, rice, chicken AND a potato

South Americans love their beans—and I’m not talking about green beans.

I’m talking about the musical beans. You know the ones I mean—beans, beans, musical fruit, the more you eat, the more…

We’ve had a few Brazilian exchange students. Beans, rice and meat have been the staples in their diet. In my experience, vegetables have been pretty much ignored. They’ve eaten corn, potatoes and salad, but that’s about as far as it goes.

One of these students had his parents visit and they brought me a wonderful Brazilian cookbook (written in English). It’s almost 700 pages long and the last chapter—of about 25 pages—is devoted to vegetables. The first 10 pages of that chapter are devoted to beans.

Obviously, these things are important!

We’re in South America for four months, starting in Colombia. Recently we spent an amazing day on a steam train going from Bogotá to Zipaquirá. From there we did a side trip and ended up in Cajicá for lunch.

We could have stayed at the trip organiser’s ‘recommended’ restaurant, but Poor John and I prefer to check out the hole-in-the-wall eateries. Tourist restaurants have to be okay for one-offs and passing trade, but a popular local restaurant wants their customers to keep coming back.

Restaurant in Cajitá

Restaurant in Cajitá—we arrived late so most of the customers were gone

So we went in search of a place with no tablecloths and local clientele.

We found a great little spot with no menu, but an ample waitress who said we could have ‘a string of words that made no sense to us’.

The helpful fellow at the next table—who was from Colombia and who’d lived in New York and Miami and who’d then followed his Colombian wife home to Cajicá—explained that we could have beef, beans and rice or chicken, beans and rice.

We’re even-handed so took one of each. They were delicious, and even though Poor John’s beef was pounded to an extraordinary thinness, the flavor was good. We even shared our dishes with one another.

The beans have continued to share for many days since then.

5 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Louise Scrivener / Sep 7 2012 9:29 am

    My childhood version of musical fruit:

    Beans, beans, good for your heart The more you eat, the more you (rhymes with…) The more you (rhymes with…) the better you feel So eat your beans at every meal

    ; ]

    Like

    • leggypeggy / Sep 7 2012 12:12 pm

      We all learned that classic as children. And it’s oh-so true. Guess I’ll be eating lots more beans for the next four months.

      Like

  2. lmo58 / Sep 7 2012 5:35 pm

    So, would you like beans with your meal or beans plus?

    Like

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