10 Typical Venezuelan Foods That Have a Variety of Flavors

10 Typical Venezuelan Foods That Have a Variety of Flavors

Mentioning Venezuela, some ancient people will remember its telenovelas, aka soap operas that were widely watched in Indonesia at that time. But this country, which is located in South America and is going through a severe political crisis, has something interesting to say. Besides being known for having beautiful countryside, this country also has unique food.

Venezuelan food has a Latin American flair and receives a lot of influence from Europe and West Africa. Most of these foods are made from simple ingredients, such as bananas, corn, black beans, and meat. All of which give Venezuelan dishes a unique and delicious taste. Here are 10 Venezuelan specialties that you may have never tried.

  1. Pabellon Criollo

Pabellón criollo is one of the traditional dishes that are very representative of Venezuelan cuisine. Officially this Venezuelan specialty is considered the country’s national dish. In addition, these foods represent the unity of diverse ethnic groups.

However, the origins of this food are uncertain. According to historians’ version, pabellón has been very popular since the late 19th century. Pabellón comes in many different colors and flavors. Although there is little variation across Venezuelan regions and regions, people retain the essence of the food.

Pabellón consists of white rice, black beans, shredded beef, and fried ripe plantains. Maybe some people include fried eggs. It is a signature dish in Venezuelan homes as well as traditional restaurants.

  1. Hallaca

Hallacas are often referred to as Venezuelan tamales. Usually, this elaborate dish is served as part of the Christmas dinner menu. It consists of a stew-like filling which is usually made from meat. The filling is covered with corn flour dough and then tightly wrapped in plantain leaves and boiled.

Additional ingredients are usually olives, raisins, peppers, or even a hard-boiled egg which is often referred to as a garnish and placed on top of the hallaca. It is believed that this food was invented by Venezuelan slaves. They use leftover ingredients provided by the landowners to produce this uniquely Venezuelan dish.

In each region of Venezuela, modern variants of this food vary. People use different ingredients and usually, each family has its unique recipe.

  1. Arepa

The well-known saying is that “nothing is more Venezuelan than arepa” and it’s true. This “bread” made from corn is a typical Venezuelan food that can be eaten as a main dish as well as a side dish.

Arepa is a round, flat patty that does not use yeast and is made from cornstarch. Cooking can be by frying, grilling, or grilling. The arepa filling may vary depending on the region and the style of the cook. This dish is very versatile as people can add their personal touch to the arepa.

Some people like to give it more flavor by adding beets or grated carrots. To make it healthier, you can also add oats, chia seeds, or flax seeds.

Favorite fillings include black beans with cheese, scrambled eggs, spiced ground beef, and even avocado. One of the most popular arepa variants is Reina pepiada with avocado and mayo filling.

  1. Cachapa

This traditional Venezuelan dish is called cachapa. The origin of this food is from the north-central area of ​​the county. There the natives grew corn and considered this crop a divine gift. Cachapa is thin pancakes made from ground fresh corn, queso Blanco and panela or sugar, then cooked in budare (iron or clay roasting).

Usually eaten as an appetizer or a full breakfast, this dish is folded in half and filled with queso de mano (a type of soft cheese) and served with chicharron, which is a dish that is usually fried pork belly or fried pork skin and can also be made from chicken, mutton. or bees.

Due to its pancake-like shape, this dish is similar to arepa. However, the cachapa is thicker and has a more irregular texture due to the addition of corn. This food is also tasty is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

  1. Dulce de Leche

Dulce de Leche is one of the best Venezuelan desserts. Since it is quite rare outside of Latin America, this Venezuelan specialty is a little difficult to explain to foreigners.

This dessert is also referred to as “arequipe” which is a milk caramel that can be placed on bread, toast, or even eaten as is. Dulce de Leche is a bit like “Latin America’s Nutella”. The ingredient to make this dessert is sweetened condensed milk which is cooked until it is brown, thick, and sticky. To give it more flavor, Venezuelans usually add a little lemon juice to it and even eat it with thin waffles.

  1. Sopa de Mondongo

This name is widely used throughout South and Central America. Sopa de mondongo refers to tripe soup with vegetables that taste delicious. The star of this Venezuelan specialty is beef or pork tripe, which is a slightly tough animal belly that can be eaten by cutting it into small pieces and cooked with other ingredients in a broth.

Throughout Latin America, there are many versions of this soup that have been adapted to the ingredients and spices of the place. Sopa de mondongo usually uses plain and sweet potatoes, corn, cassava, plantain, cabbage, onions, sliced ​​avocado, and chopped coriander leaves, which serve as garnishes.

This soup is often seasoned with cumin and achiote, a spice native to Latin America. Usually, the local variant includes additional ingredients such as pork leg, lean pork, Colombian chorizo ​​sausage, and animal bone marrow.

  1. Bollo Pelón

Bollo pelón is very common throughout the year because it is a complete meal for lunch. Eating two or three of these foods will be able to satisfy the stomach.

In addition, this typical Venezuelan dish also has a simple recipe that can be made in less than an hour. But the most important thing is that children and adults alike love this food and this food makes them happy.

Bollo pelón is apple-sized balls of corn dough usually stuffed with beef stew, but sometimes chicken stew. After that, the dough is boiled and served with tomato sauce and grated cheese.

  1. Empanadas

Empanadas are sandwiches made from corn flour. It is the same as arepa and can be fried or grilled. Empanadas can be filled with a variety of fillings, but the most common is white cheese. It’s the perfect combination, the salty taste of the cheese coupled with the sweet touch of the dough.

Each region has a different filling. Some use arepa fillings but the popular ones are ground beef, cazón (small shark), black beans, shredded beef or chicken, and even plantains. Empanadas can be served as an appetizer or as a main course. This food is a typical breakfast menu for children in school canteens in Venezuela.

  1. Pan de Jamon

Pan de Jamon is a popular Christmas dish in Venezuela. This Venezuelan specialty is a slightly sweet roll of bread filled with olives, ham, and raisins. The origin of this food is thought to be from a Caracas bakery in 1905. At that time the owner was looking for ways to make good use of leftover ham.

After rolling it into a soft and smooth dough and then baking it, the result is a savory roll. Since then this bread has always adorned the dining table during the holidays. This bread also has many versions.

  1. Phosphorus

Phosphora is a dish typical of the coastal regions of Venezuela. Since this diet consists of a wide variety of seafood, people attribute its aphrodisiac properties to phosphorera. This typical Venezuelan dish of soup is so nutritious that people usually refer to it as levanta Muertos, which means raising people from the dead.

There’s a lot to do to make this soup, but the results are simple and taste great. It is believed that the name of this soup comes from phosphorus because it is very rich in nutrients. Which can be found in this soup, among others, fish heads, clams, shrimp, crabs, squid, and others. There are also vegetables, such as onions, sweet chilies, tomatoes, and coriander.

Well, that’s a typical Venezuelan food, which mostly like South and Central America uses a lot of corn and plantains as the basic ingredients. In these countries there are also similarities in food, only the names are different.

Even some of these foods are similar to foods in Indonesia, such as hallaca and phosphorera. Are you interested in trying Venezuelan specialties?