Treasures of Colombia: Agua Panela con Queso (Colombian Street Food)

Agua Panela is a popular beverage and “medicine” here in Colombia and South America. I say medicine because if you have a cold or the flu, everyone will tell you to drink Agua Panela with lime.

I could say that Sugar and Water are also a “medicine” in the Jamaican culture as well because if you fall and hit your head it is advisable to drink some sweet sugar and water then you will be ok or revived.

However, today I will tell you about the beverage – Agua Panela with cheese. So, I was invited to a cute hole-in-the-wall café called “Despertamos el mundo” in downtown Villavicencio. My son and I ordered Cappuccino but my friends Yolanda and Maritza ordered this fascinating drink.

treasures of colombia with stacey ann smith

Treasures of Colombia: Agua Panela con Queso (Colombian Street Food)

The Agua (water) Panela (dried cane sugar), simply put “sugar and water” was in a black clay bowl well hot and in another bowl were cubes of white Colombian cheese – Queso Campesino. Of course, I was thinking that this combination was odd; In the Jamaican culture, who drinks hot sugar and water with bits of cheese in it?


Agua Panela con Queso – Sugar and water with cheese.

Yolanda told me to taste hers, which I did – skeptically of course! But, to my surprise…It tasted really good. Whoever stumbled upon this recipe is a genius; I am definitely going back to order this odd yet interesting and delicious invention.

Sugar & Water Challenge: Prepare hot sweet sugar and water and then add cubes of cheese to the liquid, that’s it…very easy!


Treasures of Colombia by Denise Fyffe and Stacey Ann SmithStacey 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 Colombia.  She describes herself as a vivacious and loving person who also passionate about traveling, taking pictures, her son Nicholas and Ashley, her adorable feline.

Copies of the book, Treasures of Colombia, available at online bookstores.


6 thoughts on “Treasures of Colombia: Agua Panela con Queso (Colombian Street Food)

  1. Sheryl Hall says:

    Hmm, interesting drink with the cheese …I’m use to just the sugar and water but I would try this even though I was thinking no at first but based on how you’ve described it, you’ve won me over🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Stacey-Ann Felicia Smith says:

      Marcynth its a special hard, white cheese from this area. but that recipe works, of course I was skeptical at first…but it was good.


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