colombian la changua

Treasures of Colombia: La Changua (Colombian Street Food)

Coffee is said by many to be an excellent starter to your day.

It helps you to wake and liven you up to start that perfect day. However, Los Rolos or Los Bogotanos (people from Bogota, the capital of Colombia, Los Boyacences from Boyacá and the natives of Cundinamarca – Central Andean region in Colombia), prefer a comfort breakfast soup called ‘La Changua’.

The aforementioned areas are the cold mountainous regions of the country, and so many years ago the indigenous people from this area invented this warm breakfast soup to ward off the cold.

It is also said that it is a good ‘hangover food’ to rid you of nausea, after a long night of drinking too much alcohol.

treasures of colombia with stacey ann smith

La Changua – Colombian Street Food

By: Stacey-Ann Smith

A morning starter other than Coffee – La Changua.

La Changua consists of boiled milk and water, egg, scallion, cilantro, toast bread, and small white arepas.

The recipe is very simple to follow:

  1. boil the milk and water together
  2. crack an egg into the milk and water but keeping the yolk intact
  3. add salt, pieces of toast bread, and cilantro
  4. and then serve

This process takes about ten to fifteen minutes to prepare. Having tried this one-pot breakfast dish, Changua, a few times, I was reminded of our ‘good ole’ Jamaican custom whereby we break off pieces of bread or crackers to put in our cornmeal or oats porridge to allow for a more fulsome meal.

colombian la changua

Culture and traditions really differ, many thoughts entered my mind upon my first encounter with this dish. I thought to myself that such a combination was somewhat peculiar; I say this because in a Jamaican household if one had the same ingredients as the Changua, of course, he or she would prepare them differently and separately.

An example could be that one fries the egg to eat with the toast and boil the milk to drink as tea.; So, for me, there was a lot of humor in this dish.

Although the inhabitants of these regions love and consume this dish on a regular basis, it is not readily liked and accepted in other parts of the country. I live in the city of Villavicencio and only a small percentage of the inhabitants actually like it. And, as a result, not many restaurants have it on their menus. But, of course, it is only prepared in the early mornings.

A bowl of La Changua ranges between eight to ten thousand pesos (8,000 COP = $322 JMD & 10,000 COP = $403 JMD).

In this video, I am with some of my students before class and we are at one of the few restaurants here in Villavicencio that prepares this interesting dish.


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.


4 thoughts on “Treasures of Colombia: La Changua (Colombian Street Food)

  1. Camille Campbell says:

    I like the fact that through the author’s experience I can be experiencing a piece of Columbia’s culture. What I wanted to hear more about this dish is how it taste and how effective it is to get you going and how it compares to coffee as a morning starter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Stacey-Ann Felicia Smith says:

      Hello Camille, thanks for reading and also for your questions. Firstly, I embedded a video into the article, if you watch you will definitely know how I feel about this dish. Notwithstanding, I can safely say that it’s not my cup of tea! I tried it twice and will never again do so lol. So in answering your other question…coffee will forever remain my favourite morning starter, with tea as the runner-up. Again thanks reading – Have a fantastic day!


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