How to Cure Your Sweet Tooth in Medellin

I have an addiction… No it’s not the marijuana, but the sweets! Poor ole me living in a foreign country thought how terrible life must be for all of the other foreigners to be stranded without a Sweets Map. So here’s to you unprepared travelers journeying deep into the heart of sweet toothdom in Medellin!

Arequipe (Ah-reh-key-pay)

How do you explain it? Colombian caramel!


You can spoon, spread or smather this on just about anything and it’ll taste good! You will find this in your dessert pastries, cakes, creams, everywhere… Arequipe, or sweet milk as it would translate is either a combination of milk & sugar, or a dangerously addictive drug. I have yet to discern…

I recommend: it on any toasted bread!

Leche de Avena (Leh-chay day a-vay-nah)

Never have I tasted a milk of oats so tasty as what I get here in Medellín.

If you’re suffering through a vitamin D deficiency then say no more! I have a drank for you!


You can buy this stuff in powder form from any grocery store, or occasionally find it on the streets. Mix 2 spoons of this powder with a glass of milk, stir, drink, and repeat until you’re either satisfied, or out of milk…

Arroz con Leche (arr-oz cohn leh-chay)

Rice with milk, it’s easy to make, cheap and delish!

Arroz con Leche

There’s really not much to say about it that hasn’t been said, want to make it, you can find the recipe here.

Salpicón (sal-pee-kohn)


This stuff is fruity loops on crack!

It’s a mix of all different kinds of fruit in a drink-like concoction. The variety of fruits will vary from place-to-place and they will ask you if you want lechita, or condensed, sweetened milk with it. Some places will even give you icecream on top like pictured.


To find it, look for any place that has these giant vats of fruit floating in oranginess.

Natilla (nah-tee-yah)

Looks like caramel colored Jello! It basically is.


Looks like caramel colored Jello!

A dessert to make in the privacy of your hostel, home, or wherever else you have a pan + fire.

It’s the easiest thing to make, all you have to do is: add the natilla powder with milk to a pot, mix it constantly over heat for roughly 15 minutes until it gradually transforms into a Jelly texture (when I say constantly, I mean constantly).

After it jellifies you leave it for around ~30 minutes to congeal and you got yourself a natilla! The flavor tastes great (not extraordinary) and it won’t overload your tastebuds with sugary flavor but it will give that sweet tasty jello essencey touch!

Natilla subsection

Oh and don’t expect it to come out all radiant like on the box.

Enyucado (en-yu-cah-doh)

Ok, this isn’t technically a Medellin desert but I liked it so much that I decided to add this sweet Cartagena invention anyways.

Looks like Biscuits, why would I want that?

To understand Enyucado, you gotta understand it’s: yucca (that long root that tastes like potatoes), Queso Costeño (that salty cheese you’ll see in massive blocks on the street), sugarcoconut milk, and lastly that licorice tasting seed anise. I read those ingredients and thought “What the fu…, dessert?!” I tasted it, and I was hooked! It’s a filling, savory, sweet, and eaten cold! If you have the chance, and you hear the beckoning of the lady selling it, just give in to it…

Anything missing?

I’d love to hear from you what hidden desserts you’ve discovered in Medellín. If something’s missing, don’t hesitate to leave a comment and I’ll do my sweets-tigative research to get it on the list!