The Multi Cultural Shakira

Shakira With Music Video Co-Star/Spanish Tennis Champ Rafael Nadal

Recently Shakira has created quite a stir with casting the Spanish tennis hunk and world Champion, Rafael Nadal in her new video Gypsy.  And she is back with more belly dancing in the new vid.  Ever wonder why she is so partial to that dance move?  Info about her ethnic background on her dad’s side helps to shed light. 

The Colombian singer’s real name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll and she was born in Barranquilla Colombia.

She was born to a mother of Spanish and Italian ancestry named Nidya del Carmen Ripoll Torrado. Her father, William Mebarak Chadid is of Lebanese ethnicity.

Her name Shakira means “thankful” in Arabic. She uses Turkish-Arabic belly dancing in a lot of her performances.

Find out more about Shakira and the ethnicity of other celebs at

Try this Mediterranean Recipe which is popular among the Lebanese: Al Fattoush Salad Recipe

Colombia: Bandeja Paisa

Bandeja paisa, (spanish for “Paisa Platter“) also known as bandeja de arriero, bandeja montañera, or bandeja antioqueña, is a typical fusion cuisine Colombian dish. It is very popular, especially in the Paisa Region departments (Antioquia, the Colombian Coffee-Growers Axis, (Caldas Department, Quindio, Risaralda) and part of Valle del Cauca

Bandeja Paisa origin was influenced by several different cultures that inhabited Colombia throughout the centuries, including the Indigenous peoples of Colombia, as well as colonial Spaniards and Africans. In the 19th century, there was presence of French and British colonialists who brought their cuisine with them. [2]

The current form and presentation of the Paisa Platter is relatively recent. There are no references in the food writing about this dish before 1950. It is probably, an interpretation of the local restaurants of simpler peasant dishes. One of its most prominent features is the juxtaposition of native american and European ingredients, which is also observed in other mestizo dishes of Latin American cuisine, such as venezuelan Pabellón criollo or Costa Rican Gallo Pinto.


Paisa Platter must be served in large oval-shaped trays. There are 13 main ingredients that must be present for the dish to be considered a canonical Bandeja Paisa:

Side dish:

There are several variants of the dish all over the country with deletion or addition of ingredients, which cannot be recognized as Bandeja Paisa in stricto sensu. Some Antioquian restaurants offer an “extended” Bandeja Paisa, also known as “Seven Meats Platter” which contains, besides the afforementioned ingredients: grilled steak, grilled pork and Liver. A dieting friendly version of the dish is very popular inBogota, which replaces pork with grilled chicken breast, black pudding with salad and chorizo with a weenie. -(Wikepedia)

Dallas, Texas: Colombian Restaurants

LA Duni Latin Cafe

La Duni Latin Cafe serves dishes made with Latin flavors that are “blended with European traditions.” Lunch is served Tuesdays through Fridays, while dinner is available Tuesdays through Saturdays, and brunch is served on weekends. The brunch menu includes huevos gauchos (scrambled eggs with Argentinian sausage, cheeses and flour tortillas.

The lunch and dinner menu includes such specialties as asado de bife (beef marinated in chimichurri sauce and grilled), fresh fish quesadillas and arepas criollas, which are white corn masa patties topped with chicken, ham or pork.

A wide array of hand-mixed cocktails made with fresh juices is also on the menu. Drinks include the Colombian jarra de refajo (a pitcher of Colombian soda mixed with Pilsner beer and limes) and Peruvian pisco sour (pisco Inca mixed with fresh lime juice and sugar).

La Duni Latin Cafe
4620 McKinney Ave.
Dallas, TX 75205
(214) 520-7300

Casa Vieja

Casa Vieja is the only restaurant exclusively specializing in Colombian food in the greater Dallas area. The restaurant’s most popular specialty is called bandeja paisa, a platter containing red kidney beans, crispy fried pork skin, white rice, Spanish sausage, steak, egg, sweet plantain, avocado and grilled corn cake.

Another specialty known as tamal tolimense consists of a rice dough tamale stuffed with chicken, beef and pork wrapped in a banana leaf with rice and sweet plantain on the side. Live music is featured on weekends, and tango nights are also offered for those looking to dance. Casa Vieja is open for lunch and dinner daily.

Casa Vieja
1927 E. Belt Line Road, Suite 152
Carrollton, TX 75006
(972) 416-8172


According to the Dallas Morning News, Espumoso is “a coffeehouse with Colombian flavor” offering breakfast, lunch and dinner Tuesdays through Sundays. Beef, chicken and veggie homemade empanadas are served along with sandwiches, pastries and ice cream. Smoothies, teas, and coffees with Latin flavors are served. A house specialty is the Mousse de Maracuya, with blackberry sauce of passionfruit mousse. Natilla, a traditional Colombian coconut pudding, is also offered.

See Complete listing:

United in a Desire to Help Haiti

Haitian Star Wyclef and Colombian star Shikara

Statement From Shakira about the Haitian devastation:

The destruction and loss of life in Haiti causes us all to take stock in what is really important. This small country has endured so much – more than its fair share of tragedy. I can’t imagine the devastation that has struck an already weakened infrastructure. Critical services needed for recovery, such as schools and hospitals, have been destroyed.

The people of Haiti need our help immediately. Money will be needed to provide urgent emergency relief and I urge everyone who can afford to help to either donate to UNICEF’s emergency relief fund at or text the word YELE to 501501 on your U.S. cell phone (this will charge your phone $5 – it will go to Wyclef Jean’s foundation which is playing a major role in the relief effort. For more information, see

We must all act. As a global community, we must be part of the recovery of Haiti and its people.

Thank you.


Colombian Beef and Sweet Potato Stew recipe


  • 1 pound beef boneless chuck
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  1/4 teaspoon pepper
  •  3 cups 1-inch pieces peeled sweet potatoes
  •  1 1/2 teaspoons olive or vegetable oil
  •  2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic 2 whole cloves
  •  1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  •  1 large onion — cut into eighths
  • 1 28oz can Italian-style pear-shaped tomatoes — undrained
  • 8 dried apricots — cut in half
  • chopped fresh parsley

Columbian Beef and Sweet potato stew


 Remove excess fat from beef. Cut beef into 1-inch pieces. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. Heat oil in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Cook beef in oil about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. until brown. Mix beef and remaining ingredients except apricots and parsley in 4 to 5 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat setting about 8 hours or until beef is tender. Stir in apricots. Cover and cook on low heat setting about 15 minutes or until apricots are softened. Discard cloves, bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Sprinkle stew with parsley. Source: “Betty Crocker Magazine, September 2000, Page 41” Start to Finish Time: “8:15”

Historical Influences on Colombian Food

Colombian is blessed with a rich natural space, a variety of the fauna and flora and a high agricultural potential. The most significant agricultural possessions are the coffee plantations (Colombia is the second exporter in the world, but Colombian coffee is recognized as the best one), banana trees, cocoa, beans and sugar cane. Cows and other horned cattle are breaded. All these aspects explain the trends of Colombian traditional cuisine. Colombia is beneficially situated between a sea (Carebean Sea) and an ocean (Pacific Ocean) and has various exotic plants; this fact is felt in the local cuisine, which includes seafood and wild plants meals: lulo, Curuba, Mamoncillo, uchuva, feijoa, sweet granadilla, mamey, guama, tree tomato and pitahaya, yucca, plantains, anise and even cactus. The main influences found in the Colombian cuisine are those of the Mexico and Argentina, but also Brasilia and Peru: bean and corn meals and Mercado beverages, but Colombian culinary spectrum also contains Italian and other European influences. Some of the most common aliments found in the Colombian diet are: corn, beans, tomatoes, Beef meat, plantains and coffee and cocoa drinks. The Colombian bean meals are best represented by the Antioquian beans, which are made with kidney beans, chopped Bacon, green plantains, tomatoes, onions and garlic. Beef is the main ingredient in the Colombian traditional meat recipes and it is prepared in a variety of ways: fried, grilled, roasted, barbecued, and stewed and as a filling for various Colombian dishes.

Coloumbian food

Colombian Food Traditions and Festivals

Colombian people have a wide range of festivals, carnivals, national holidays and rituals, which all imply culinary traditions. The national day of Colombia is celebrated on the 20th of July, representing the Day of Independence, which was gained in 1810. On this special day, Colombian families serve the traditional beans and corn meals, together with Beef dishes on family dinners and feasts. Other fiestas include Epiphany, celebrated on the 6th of January, Battle of Boyaca in August, the catholic All Saint’s Day in November, Christmas and Immaculate Conception Day in December. On festivities, there is the Latin tradition of cacao drinking. The recipe of cacao includes ground chocolate, corn, lima beans and anise. Colombian people enjoy celebrating and expressing themselves in carnivals and festivals: Barranquilla`s Carnival, Green Moon Festival, Bogotá’s Carnival, Joropo National Festival and others are great celebrations. During Mainzales Fair (Feria de Mainzales), which is celebrated in the city with the same name, a queen of coffee is selected to represent Colombia’s most valuable product. The Colombian culture also includes, like many other Latin cultures (like Mexicans), a special dace and ritual dedicated to corn, as this used to be for centuries a basic aliment: there were ancient agricultural rituals which was transformed into cyclic festivities and catholic celebrations.

Columbian women