We provide a comprehensive guide to cuts of beef in Colombia. Colombian cuts of meat can be difficult for foreigners to understand so we provide a guide.
Several Medellin Guru readers asked about cuts of beef in Colombia. So, we researched and provide a comprehensive guide that matches over 40 cuts of beef in English with the Spanish equivalent in Colombia.
I have seen only a few other posts on the Internet about Colombian cuts of meat. But these all tend to include no more than 10 cuts of meat and are missing many cuts and some of these posts have inaccuracies.
Something you need to know is that products in Colombia must have an Invima seal, so, for example, when you buy raw, refrigerated or frozen meat and have this certification, it means that it complies with all the processes suitable for human consumption.
In addition, in Colombia you will find many types of butcher shop and in different places, this is because it is a country that tends to consume a lot of meat. According to figures from Fedegan (La Federación Colombiana de Ganaderos ), only in 2022 the consumption of beef was 17.3 kg.
Note the above photo is courtesy of the U.S. Meat Export Federation.
Matching Cuts of Beef in English with Spanish Equivalent in Colombia
The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) International Nomenclature Guide of Beef Cuts that translates cuts of beef in the U.S. with their equivalents in many other countries.
For Colombia, USMEF consulted the Guia Práctica de Carnes (Practical Meat Guide) put together by Carulla. The following two tables map U.S. cuts of beef with Colombian cuts.
The IMPS numbers in the above tables are from the International Meat Purchase Specification from the USDA in the United States, which provides details for each cut of meat.
Other Cuts of Beef You Can Find in Colombia
Besides the above tables mapping U.S. cuts with Colombian cuts of beef, you can find other cuts of meat in some stores in Colombia, such as:
- Churrasco – Sirloin
- Solomito Redondo – Sirloin
- Solomito Largo – Tri-Tip
Also, it is possible to find imported meats from the U.S. and Argentina. For example, you can find imported USDA meats at PriceSmart. Other stores where I have seen imported meats include Carulla and Jumbo. Recently at PriceSmart I saw Ribeye, Strip-Loin and Top Sirloin imported from the U.S.
Finding a Butcher in Medellín and Other Cities in Colombia
Each of the sizable groceries stores in Medellín and other cities such as Exito and Jumbo will have a butcher where you can ask for specific cuts of meat. Most of the butchers won’t speak English. So, you will need the Spanish names for cuts of meat.
Also, there are many small independent butchers in Medellín and other municipalities in the Aburrá Valley. Also, every city and even small pueblos have independent butchers.
We live in a casa (house) in Sabaneta and there are three independent butchers within a 5-minute walk. Also, the small independent butchers will typically have lower prices for meats than in the big grocery stores.
The Best Butchers in Medellín
The following are two of the best butchers I have found in Medellín, after living in the metro area for over eight years.
La Cava del Brangus – this butcher has a wide-range of meat, pork and chicken cuts. Also, they have seafood and sausages. In addition, they offer domicilio (delivery) services.
You can have your delivery for free, if you buy products for more than 30,000 pesos, which is a good idea to save money. La Cava del Brangus has two locations:
La Cava del Brangus has two locations:
- Calle 33 # 76-67, Laureles
- Carrera 25 # 12 Sur-33, local 155, Mall Complex Los Balsos, El Poblado
Carnes Rikatas – this butcher reported distributes its own meat to the entire country of Colombia. Also, Carnes Rikatas is part of the Asociación Colombiana de Porciculturas (Colombian Pig Association). So, they are focused on having the best pork. Also, this butcher claims to only have meat that is 100 percent green (no chemicals or hormones before butchering).
Address: Carrera 40 # 49-45, Plaza de Flórez, El Centro
The Bottom Line: A Guide to Cuts of Beef in Colombia
Several readers asked about cuts of beef in Colombia, as it can be difficult for foreigners to understand the different cuts in Colombia. So, we provide the above comprehensive guide to cuts of beef in Colombia that maps to U.S. cuts.
The butchers in Colombia typically won’t speak much English. So, you will need the Spanish names for the cuts of meat you want to order. Our guide should make it easier for foreigners buying meat in Colombia.
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Editors note: Updated June 21, 2023 with information of Fedegan and new links.