Bandeja paisa, (Paisa refers to a person from the Paisa Region and bandeja is Spanish for platter) with variations known as bandeja de arriero, bandeja montañera, or bandeja antioqueña, is a typical meal popular in Colombian cuisine, especially of the Antioquia department and the Paisa Region, as well as with the Colombian Coffee-Growers Axis, (Caldas Department, Quindío, Risaralda) and part of Valle del Cauca.
The main characteristic of this dish is the generous amount and variety of food in a traditional bandeja paisa: red beans cooked with pork, white rice, ground meat, chicharon, fried egg, plantain (patacones), chorizo, arepa, hogao sauce, black pudding (morcilla), avocado and lemon.
In 2005, the Colombian government planned to make bandeja paisa the national dish, with name changed to “bandeja montañera” (mountain tray) to avoid the exclusion of people outside the Paisa Region.A number of people opposed this designation, arguing that only a small percentage of the Colombian population consumes it in regular basis, that it is originated in a single region of Colombia (Antioquia). However, the suggested alternative, sancocho, is not a distinctively Colombian dish, as it is known and enjoyed in many other countries, such as Cuba, Venezuela, the Canary Islands, the Dominican Republic and Panama. Due to the widespread ubiquity of sancocho, often Colombian ajiaco is instead considered the most indicative Colombian dish.
Nonetheless, the commercial Colombian tourism industry has pushed ahead without official government sanction by emblazening ads, menus, and brochure information with imagery of the bandeja paisa as the single most typical Colombian dish. On his release from an eight-year kidnap ordeal, Oscar Tulio Lizcano said the meal he wanted to eat was the bandeja paisa.