La Chagra

By JD


“THERE IS NO MORE DYNAMIC WAY OF DOING CULTURE THAN THROUGH THE FLAVORS THAT REPRESENT IT. OUR PHILOSOPHY IS TO PUBLICIZE THE GASTRONOMIC RICHES OF THE AMAZON REGION.”

And with that our 3-hour- 16 course adventure begins at the high end, highly rated amazonian restaurant in Medellin called ‘La Chagra.”

When first entering the restaurant you are greeted by a combination of symbols of the jungle, carvings as well as contemporary design with strategic lighting which gives off  a humble elegance. Humility does have it’s place, but when the food came it was clear that we were going to have a full experience of sight, taste and sound.

The presentation.

After things simmered down. ‘Pirarúcu
Pure de ñame morado.’ Gin infusion with coco leaf Representation of the tree.

This drinkable appetizer represents the earth and elders. Tangy citrus flavored.

Next was a soup like texture representing the foot and humility. The black round item on the crunchy shell is a spicy ant next to other spices.

Initially I thought this was a ‘representation’ of the humility of the ant. After I ate it I was informed that it was actually a real ant head.. too late. It was actually quite tasty.

Here’s where things got a little weird. And when I say a little- I mean a lot. Presented in all of its smoking grandeur was the ‘Mohhi.’ Representing the seasons. Also called ‘Mojojoy.’ Pronounced ‘Mo-ho-ho-joy.’  While digging into this tasty meat we noticed the skin was a little tough and shiny.

“Pregunta por favor, ¿qué tipo de carne es esta?” Was me incorrectly asking for specifics on what we were eating.

“Oh the Mohhi is a larva in the Amazon jungle. The Amazons eat them.” All it took was a brief Google search to quickly realize we were basically eating a giant worm.

First ant heads and now worms. We really have truly stepped into the jungle. I will say this one thing.. again it was delicious. We ate it all.

After being so unexpectedly adventurous on the previous dishes we were happy to see something green and easily identifiable for the next course.

The ‘Maloca’ representing the house. A maloca is an ancestral long house used by indigenous people of the Amazon, notably in Colombia and Brazil.

Each community has a maloca with its own unique characteristics. Several families with live together in a maloca. This dish was the sushi of the Amazon jungle- raw fish.

The presentation.

After the smoke cleared it revealed our next dish was pork sausage topped with a camp fruit sauce.

The ‘muddy water’ looking dip next to it is a fish seed sauce which was a perfect complement to the delicious pork.

After the last presentation being delicious pork we were very pleased to have seconds. This time  a smoked pork with an Amazon like kiwi fruit with fried fish in casaba flour. If you could imagine there were food in heaven.. believe me it would taste like this.

This dish contains green leaves and pork with Acacia Berry sauce covering.

After a few rounds of pork, it was good to switch over to some veggies. Our next course was “Exhausted fruit.” Representing the Amazon jungles fatuige over its abuse. This dish contains multiple flowers, vegetables and fruit.

Out of all of the symbolism each dish carried throughout the evening this one was perhaps the most pointed. This was a fish brisket representing ‘the white man that comes in destroying all.’

Served with plantain.

After several hours in a few more dishes we moved on to the sweeter side of things.

This is a chocolate truffle of mocambo. Sacha and other Amazon nuts mixed throughout. It represents illegal mining and the use of mercury that affects the river.

With such an eventful evening one would think things not get any better. Wrong. The best is actually yet to come.

After dinner you’re given a leaf on which you can write your positive thoughts for the Amazon jungle and then put it on their wall inside.

But.. before that there was something else. A truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.

All night we have had our taste buds stimulated and our minds and emotions provoked by the representations of each dish.

The last course however was something more of an out-of-body experience. There are two cups that come.

One representing the man and the nose and the other representing the woman and the emotion. Both are mixed together and you partake. This experience cannot be described so we are providing a video link within this article.

The man.

The woman.

The experience.

See what happens next:

Amazonian Experience on Vimeo
https://vimeo.com/381878617

We had an unbelievable experience and left feeling satisfied mentally, emotionally and physically.

With such a highly-publicized venue that offers such a unique experience you can be sure you will even make friends during your dining experience. Don’t let that surprise you.

In life there are very few ‘must do’ once in lifetime experiences.

Mark this down on your list as one of them.

LA CHAGRA MEDELLIN