jueves, 2 de abril de 2009

The hotel

"Its wooden furniture and its elegant decoration give you the feeling of staying in a colonial mansion. Everything shows a good taste. It is housed in a building constructed in 1794-1798. The hotel is part of the original mansion that covers the corner of Carrera 7 and Calle 3. The mansion has a glorious history. Eminent citizens of Popayan lived in it such as the poet Guillermo Valencia whose son Guillermo Leon Valencia was born here. He became President of Colombia in 1961-1966 and the airport of Popayan bears his name. The hotel was wonderfully reformed in 1970. There is room service, a conference hall, and a private collection of pre-colombian art. There is a sitting room for watching videos but you can also rent the equipment and watch it in your room. They can also prepare the food according to your liking. The rooms are spacious and very comfortable. Rooms are 35$ for singles and 50$ for doubles". (Testimony of an expert traveler, in http://www.virtualtourist.com/hotels/South_America/Colombia/Departamento_del_Cauca/Popayan-1568191/Hotels_and_Accommodations-Popayan-BR-1.html ) Picture: AVIANCA magazine, march 2008

Address: Carrera 7 No 2-75 - Popayán (Cauca), Colombia
Fax: +57-2-8241814
Reservations: hotellosbalcones@emtel.net.co

National Registry of Tourism No 43 issued by Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism of Colombia

According with law 679, issued on 2001 (Article 17), Los Balcones Hotel advise that tourist exploitation and sexual abuse of minors are subject to criminal and administrative sanctions 

Clik on flag to switch to Spanish

Click on maps ands pics to enlarge

Some pics of the hotel

Videoclip about some expressions of Cauca Cultural Identity

Tierradentro Archeological Park
UNESCO Patrimonial Cultural Heritage
Popayán Holy Week
UNESCO Cultural Intagible Heritage
UNESCO City of Gastronomy

Fast facts
• Gastronomic tradition spanning several centuries:
soups and dough mixing, salads and seasoning,
omelets and corn pancakes and also drinks like the
chicha (fermented corn drink). Traditional foods are
still used on a daily basis (potatoes, corn, rice, beef,
porc and chicken)

• This culture has been transmitted through oral
tradition during many generations and it is only
recently that books on this heritage have been
published (e.g. “platos de las abuelas”
grandmother’s dishes).

• Traditional culinary practices are protected and
encouraged in Popayan. Certain traditional
cooking methods such as desamargados (fruits
and zest marinade) have survived the
industrialization of cooking processes.

• There is a strong respect for traditional cuisine
in Popayan especially during Holy Week and
Christmas when certain foods are prepared
exclusively for these holidays (e.g. Sopas de
ayuno, sopa de vigilia, plato de noche Buena).

Cooking time: 20 minutes
1 cup chopped rip tomato.
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallion or green onion
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 crushed clove garlic
1/8 cup finely chopped green or red bell pepper.
2 finely chopped sweet chili (optional)
1/8 tablespoon ground cumin
Saffron or food color Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoon vegetal oil.

In a saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Saute the onion for a few minutes until it is golden and transparent, add all the ingredients . Cook until thickened, stirring constantly until a smooth sauce is obtained (20 minutes approximately).

Preparation time: 30 minutes
2 pound diced peeled potatoes,
10 cups beef broth or chicken broth
2 cups of creole sauce ( hogao )
4 tablespoon peanut butter
2 diced eggs
2 teaspoon food color or saffron salt and pepper to taste optional
2 cups cooked beef, ground after cooked
Place the potatoes in a large pot.
Add the broth.
The broth should cover them by 2 inches .
Cook until potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes .
Add creole sauce (hogao), the peanut butter,and saffron and mix very well.
Cook until thickened, stirring constantly.
Add the eggs .
Mix well with the potatoes.
Optional, add ground beef.
Keep warm and cover.

POTATO PIES (empanadas)
Preparation Time:
2 hours, Dough:10 minutes
2 ounces precooked white/yellow corn meal
12 cups boiling chicken/beef broth
4 tablespooncorn starch
To one cup of precooked corn meal add 1 1/2 of boiling broth.Knead until smooth. Let stand 5 minutes. After that , add the corn starch. Mix well. Roll dough to aprox. 1/8 " thick. Cut in 4" circles. Place on a plastic film/ plastic wrap.
Potato Pie
Dough potato filling oil to fry
Place 1 tablespoon filling in center of circle,
fold to form half circle and press edges with fork.
Deep fry in vegetable oil until golden brown.
Eat steam hot from frypan. You can cool them and individual wrap with aluminum foil.
Keep frozen . They are keept well upto 3 months.

Cooking time: 30 Min.
8 servings
1 and 1/2 pound (750 gr. of Corn mass.
3 spoons of lard
1 pound ( 500 gr.) of pork meat pulp, cut in pieces and fried.
1y1/2 pounds (750 gr). of pipian.
2 eggs cooked and cut in slices.
Salt to the pleasure.

PLANTAIN LEAVES: Boiled leaves of platano and chumbes.
(If you can't find the plantain leaves you may replace them with aluminum foil ).
Mix the mass with the butter. Take the mass portions, extend them on the leaves, (or Aluminum foil) palming them with the fingers until they are thin.
Place the Pipian portion, meat and eggs on the center of the extended mass and close it. (they must be of 10 cm. in length by 3 cm. of diameter) , cook in boiling water.
Serve with Hot peanut dipping sauce and rice

Preparation time: 10 minutes
1 jar -18 0unces Peanut Butter Spread ( regular or reduce fat)
6 cup warm milk (regular or skim) You can use beef broth/chicken broth
1 can sliced jalapeño chili or 1 jar hot sauce
3 cups diced ripe tomatoes
2 cups thinly sliced scallion or green onion
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1/2 cup finely chopped coriander
6 sliced eggs.
Salt to taste.
Open peanut butter jar.
Place in the microwave at medium power for 3 minutes. BE CAREFUL.
In a glass or china pot dissolve the peanut butter spread in the warm milk .
Stir until the sauce is smooth and homogeneous.

References: http://www.rtspecialties.com/tobar/lacocina.htm
More topics about Cauca in: http://tampu.unicauca.edu.co/merlin/preview/index.php

Interesting topics about Popayan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3r6O5k0v36A