Venezuelan cuisine

Venezuelan cuisine
Homemade empanadas.

Due to its location in the world, its diversity of industrial resources and the cultural diversity of the Venezuelan people, Venezuelan cuisine often varies greatly from one region to another. Its cuisine, traditional as well as modern, is influenced by indigenous peoples and its European ancestry[1] (Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and French), and is also influenced by African and Native American traditions. Food staples include corn, rice, plantain, yams, beans and several meats.[1]

The most common foods by region can be broadly classified as follows:

  • Eastern states (Oriente), south eastern-states (Guayana) and northern states (Caribe): a wide gamut of fresh and saltwater fish, seafood and crustaceans; tubers such as potato and yam; cereals such as corn, rice and pasta (where Venezuelans are number two in the world after Italy); beef; fresh vegetables and fruit (lettuce, tomatoes, plantains).
  • Western states (occidente): common meats include goat (usually prepared with tomato) and rabbit ; extensive use of plantain and a variety of cheeses. Dishes are influenced by the local tribes as well as by Colombian cuisine.
  • Llanos: beef and game (deer, chigüire, lapa, morrocoy, etc.), mostly grilled or roasted; corn (in the form of cachapas), several sorts of soft, white cheese (guayanés, de mano, crineja, etc.) and other milk derivates.
  • Andean region: potatoes and other tubers, wheat; beef, lamb and chicken; not much fish as the region doesn't have a coastal line, with the exception being trout, which is raised on fish farms. Dishes show European and native Andean peoples' influences.

Potatoes, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, eggplants, squashes and zucchini (commonly called "calabacines") are common sides to the Venezuelan diet.


Main dishes

Polenta with sausages
  • Arepa
  • Asado negro
  • Bistec a caballo
  • Bollo pelón
  • Cachapa - Maize bread.
  • Cachitos - de jamón, similar to French croissants
  • Caraotas negras (black beans)
  • Chicharrón
  • Chivo en coco - a generous serving of shredded goat cooked in coconut milk, topped with mofongo (fried, mashed green bananas).
  • Chupe Andino
  • Corbullón de mero
  • Empanada
  • Pastelito
  • Ensalada de pollo - Chicken salad.
  • Lengua de Res - Cow tongue "a la vinagretta" (in a vinaigrette)
  • Mandoca
  • Mondongo (Tripe).
  • Ñoquis - Potato pasta, more prominent in the Central region.
  • Hallaca - typical Christmas dish.
  • Hervido de gallina - Hen soup
  • Pabellón criollo - Creole pavilion, the National dish.
  • Pastel de pollo
  • Pasticho - the Venezuelan version of lasagna; from the Italian pasticcio[2]
  • Patacones
  • Perico
  • Pescado sudado
  • Pisca Andina - soup commonly served in the Andes
  • Pisillo de chigüire
  • Polenta - it is also known as "Funche" in some areas of the country.
  • Sancocho de pescado
  • Sopa de rabo
  • Torta de plátano - cake made with plantains

Typical snacks

  • Tequeño
  • Golfeados
  • Tostones, common side dish for fried fish, typically eaten at the beach.


Chicha morada served with pipeño
A tequeño is prepared with a bread dough with queso blanco (white cheese) in the middle
Mandocas are a Venezuelan deep-fried pretzel made from cornmeal, often served hot with butter and cheese
Hallacas typically have a mixture of beef, pork, chicken, capers, raisins, and olives wrapped in maize (cornmeal dough), bound with string within plantain leaves, and boiled or steamed afterwards


Pan de jamón, a Christmas specialty
  • Pan Dulce
  • Pan Chabata - Italian "ciabatta"
  • Pan Frances or Canilla
  • Pan Siciliano - round loaf of country bread.
  • Pan De Jamón - usually filled with ham, olives, and raisins and usually eaten during the Christmas season.


  • Queso de Año
  • Queso de Bola relleno
  • Queso de Cabra
  • Queso de Mano
  • Queso Guayanes
  • Queso Telita
  • Queso Paisa
  • Queso Parmesano
  • Cuajada andina
  • Queso Palmizulia
  • Queso Clineja - Venezuelan slang. RAE (Crizneja)


  • Bienmesabe
  • Besitos de coco - small and round coconut candy
  • Cannoli - often called "cannoli siciliano"
  • Conserva de coco
  • Conserva de guayaba
  • Dulce de leche - A solid version made in Coro.
  • Dulce de lechosa
  • Majarete
  • Mousse de chocolate
  • Pudín de chocolate - Chocolate pudding.
  • Quesillo - Local-style caramel flan.
  • Brazo gitano - Spanish rolled cake, also "pionono"
  • Profiterol
  • Torta de queso - Cheese cake


  • Marquesa de almendras - Almond marquise.
  • Torta Burrera
  • Torta de jojoto - Corn Cake
  • Torta de pan - Bread cake.
  • Torta negra
  • Torta de auyama - Pumpkin cake.
  • Torta Mil Hojas
  • Torta Tres Leches
  • Bienmesabe - made with coconut and meringue

Calle del Hambre

These street food stands are very common in Venezuela. The so-called Calle del Hambre, "Street of Hunger," is the name of a street or a combination of them that serve as a stage for a variety of street vendors to establish their business. The most common and popular is the "Perreros", where one can get a pepito, hamburger, or perro caliente. Other vendors sell arepas, Mexican food, or typical Venezuelan food. This food is not governed by the regulations of high standard cuisine or even homemade meals, however, the massive consumption of this kind of food can produce too much fat on the body, caused by the high caloric content of this food. Fast food stands in Venezuela usually sell hot dogs, hamburgers and pepito, but the most common vendors do not sell pepitos. Hot dogs are served in two ways: one is the wiener style sausage, which is placed in a steamed hot dog bun and served with portions of different types of condiments and fixings (typically chopped fried potatoes, cabbage salad, and chopped onions). Some vendors use shredded American cheese. Sauces and toppings include ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, guasacaca, garlic sauce, onion sauce, hot chili and tartar sauce. There are other vendors who sell hot dogs with Polish sausage, using the same condiments and fixings. Hamburgers use the same condiments and fixings as hot dogs, but the vendors often add fried ham, fried cheese, and fried egg with the hamburger. Some vendors also use avocado, tomato, bacon, alfalfa seeds, and more to create their own signature on their hamburgers. Hamburgers can be made with beef, chicken, pork chop or chorizo. The unique pepito is a combination of beef and hot dog. This consists of a huge hot dog which instead of sausage has grilled beef or chicken, served in a French style bun. Some vendors use pork chops as well. The pork chop's variations of service on the vendors are called "Chuleton".

Other foods

  • Guasacaca - sauce made with avocado, cilantro, peppers, onions, and garlic. There are two varieties: green (mild) and red (hot).
  • Patacones
  • Salpicón
  • Tajadas - fried plantain slices

See also

Foods.jpg Food portal


  1. ^ a b c d e f Kohnstamm, Thomas; Kohn, Beth. "Venezuela." Lonely Planet. Accessed October 2011.
  2. ^ Romero, Aldemaro (21 June 1998). "Pasticho". (Spanish). Retrieved 2006-04-28. [dead link]

External links

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