FOOD

Venezuelan food has been notably influenced by the diet of our natives people, as well as of the African communities that were brought to our lands when we were colonized.

  • Venezuela’s characteristic bread is the “arepa,” which is prepared with cornflour.

  • In Christmas, all Venezuelan homes a prepare a typical dish called “hallaca.” The hallaca is a cake of cornflour that is filled with pork or chicken, olives and raisins and wrapped in banana leaves. The hallaca is boiled.

  • The banana is utilized to in the Venezuelan kitchen and is the base for many specialties of the national food.

  • Being a tropical country, Venezuela counts on an abundant variety of fruits and vegetables that are widely available in local markets.

Recipes

Arepas

Arepas Arepas are perhaps the most popular Venezuelan staple. They are served like a type of bread and can be eaten with food or by themselves. They can be filled with meat, cheese, scrambled eggs or anything you may like. In the past, arepas were made with freshly ground corn. Nowadays, they are made using prepackaged cornflour.

Ingredients:
2 teaspoons of salt
2 cups of cornflour
2 ½ cups of warm water

Preparation:

Put the corn flour in a bowl and add the salted water little by little, mixing with the flour until has become doughy. Let it rest for five minutes. Now, shape the dough into round rolls about 3 inches in diameter and 1-2 inches thick. In a lightly greased skillet, slowly cook the arepas until a crust forms on each side. Now place them into a casserole and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes, until the arepas sound hollow when tapped.

Tequeños
Tequeños

Ingredients:
4 cups of flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of water (approx.)
1 lb of white cheese
1 spoonful of butter
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon of sugar

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients except the cheese, using only enough water to make a rather soft dough. Set aside for a few minutes. Cut the cheese into strips of ½ inch wide by 2 ½ inches long. Divide dough into four parts. Roll each part as thin as possible, but into ½ inch strips and wind around the cheese until the latter become completely covered. Fry in hot deep oil until golden brown. Serve as once. Makes about 60.

Cachapas de Budare
Cachapa

Ingredients:
4 cups of tender corn kernels or 6 to 8 large stalks of corn
3 teaspoons of salt
¾ of cup of sugar
¾ to 1 cup of water, depending on whether the corn is more or less tender.

Preparation:

Using a knife, remove the kernels of corn without cutting too deeply so as to avoid cutting the tusk.

Grind the grains with loose corn mill. The mass should remain a little thick and plain.

In a large container, mix the mass with the salt, sugar and water. The mixture should have a thick consistency.

Begin to heat a skillet or a frying pan on the stove; once hot, leave it on low heat.

Grease the skillet with a greased paper towel and with a small ladle pour, around ½ cup of the mixture. Stretch it out a little with the ladle until you form a pancake of about 10 cm in diameter and ½ centimeter in thickness. Once bubbles form over the entire surface, flip it over with a spatula to cook the other side until golden. Let it cook for approximately 1 minute on each side. Follow the same steps from the beginning for each cachapa. Make sure you serve them hot. You can keep them in the refrigerator after they are chilled. In this case, you can heat them to warmth or fry them 1 to 2 minutes in a little butter.

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