Treasures of Colombia: Empanada de Acacias (Colombian Street Food)

Hi, I am Stacy Ann, a likkle Jamaican girl who has had the opportunity to experience life on the other side of the world.

I live and work here in Colombia, where their lifestyle, food, and culture is so similar to ours back home, in Jamaica. Every day is like a treasure hunt.

So follow me, as I explore my new home, and show you some of the great treasures and secrets of Colombia.

treasures of colombia with stacey ann smith

Empanada de Acacias (Colombian Street food)

By: Stacy Ann Smith

You can consider Empanada to be Colombian Patty.

It is one of the best hors-d’oeuvres, office cocktails, snacks or street foods you will find in Colombia. The empanada varies in size and has the shape and color of the famous Jamaican patty.

Colombians do not like spicy foods so as a result the empanadas are not made spicy.

However, when you buy an empanada, you receive more spice or an aji in plastic bags or small plastic containers as opposed to the Jamaican patty that has the spices and peppers inside the patty.

The empanada also varies in flavor, similar to the patty. Both products have many fillings such as chicken and beef in common.

Of course, where there are similarities, there are differences as well; where the empanada has potatoes and rice mixed with the chicken or beef the patty does not have these additions. Additionally, the patty has other fillings such as shrimp, lobster, callaloo, mixed vegetables and even ackee and saltfish to make it more diverse.

So, in this aspect, the empanada is a bit limited where choice is concerned. However, this limitation does not hinder it from being one of the most famous fast food or Columbian street food and at large, it is well-liked all over South America as well.

The empanada is typical street food that can be found all over Colombia, in every nook and cranny. It is very economical just one thousand eight hundred Colombian pesos (1,800 COP) which is equal to seventy-one Jamaican dollars ($71.00 JMD).

The empanada may be smaller than the patty, but it is very filling and truly satisfying.

In this video, I am on the side of the road in a little town called Acacias in the parish of META, Colombia.

Here a young lady has set up a little table and from there she is selling the famous chicken empanada, Colombian street food, with the spices on the side in a little plastic container.

I am standing around with my students from the university where I work and we are hungry and so we took a little break to refuel on empanadas, which is cheap and always available at any time of day.

So enjoy!


Stacey Ann Smith is from Kingston, Jamaica.  She is an alumnus of Camperdown High School and she graduated from The Shortwood Teachers’ College having earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Modern Languages, Spanish and French. Presently, Stacey is an English teacher at a University in Columbia.  She describes herself as a vivacious and loving person who also has a passion for traveling, taking pictures, her son Nicholas and Ashley, her adorable feline.

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