Every year we make a pledge to find out when Colombia's Independence Day is, and every year we forget. You see, Montreal's Colombian community throws an annual fiesta for their Independence Day in Parc Laurier, and it's one of our favorite outdoor celebrations in this "city of festivals," but we can never remember exactly when it's held. We always manage to chance upon it, though, because it's always held on a Sunday, and we're usually playing soccer in Parc Laurier on Sunday afternoons during the summer. Anyway, this Sunday we weren't playing soccer, but we did get a hot tip from Michelle's sister that a fiesta was afoot in Parc Laurier, so we hopped on our bikes and scooted on over to check things out.
We love the Colombian festival because the music's always blaring, everyone's wearing that unearthly shade of amarillo Colombiano (usually in the form of a soccer jersey), it seems like every Colombian family in the entire city is there, and there's lots of tasty treats. This year we didn't have the biggest appetites because we hadn't been playing soccer for 2 hours before showing up, but Michelle hadn't had any lunch and I was in the mood for a snack so we lined up in front of the "Sabor Colombiano" tent and ordered some empanadas and a couple of arepas con carne (they were out of the con queso variety). Of the two, the highlight was the order of Colombian empanadas, which are not at all like Chilean ones. The ones we had came stuffed with potatoes and pork and were deep-fried. The finished product had something almost samosa-like about it. The aji they were served with as a dipping sauce was spicy and garlicky. The verdict: delicious.
We've now committed the date of Colombia's Independence Day to memory: July 20. Next year you can be sure that the Colombian festival we be held in Parc Laurier on the closest Sunday to July 20. See you there.