Venezuela, speaking about food and traditional dishes, is one of the most iconic countries in South America.
Its variety and its very unique way of mixing ingredients can create excellent culinary sensations. If you’re looking forward to taste Venezuelan food, you DEFINITELY have to try these dishes.
The Pabellón Criollo is the most traditional dish in Venezuela and usually, people have it for lunch. It’s made up with white rice, shredded beef, black beans and sweet fried plantains, so it has a little bit of everything. Ironically, in spite of being the most traditional dish in Venezuela, many restaurants don’t have it in their menus, but it’s very easy to make it and people love it.
Arepas are the most eaten food in Venezuela. They can be eaten at breakfast or dinner, and there are a lot of ways of filling them. Arepas are made out of precooked cornmeal, and they can be filled with any type of cheese, shredded beef or chicken, tomato, lettuce, and even avocado. Regularly, Venezuelans eat Arepas like 3 times a week, even more.
The Patacón is a very traditional dish specially in Maracaibo, where it was created. It’s based on plantains that work like bread in a sandwich. These plantains are sliced and fried, and on the inside contains mozzarella or grated cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and the principal item can be pork, shredded beef, chicken breast or a mix of all. It’s a very peculiar ‘sandwich’ and people usually eat it for dinner.
Tequeños are one of the most common food items in Venezuela. They’re basically very crispy fried cheese fingers, which can be mixed with a sensational ‘tártara sauce’ (mayo, garlic, parsley and salad oil) or ketchup. They can be eaten basically at any time, usually used as breakfast or in-between meals.
Pastelitos are basically ‘little pies’ made out of wheat flour, eggs, salt, and butter. They can be used the same way as Tequeños, principally they’re eaten at breakfast. Pastelitos can be filled with cheese, shredded chicken, shredded beef and even mash potatoes.
Cachapas are one of the most common food items for dinner. They are made out of corn and precooked cornmeal, filled with butter and melted cheese. This is a very easy and simple dish to make, but that doesn’t make it less delicious.
Mandocas are a breakfast item food, made out of cornmeal, plantain and cheese. They have a ribbon bow shape and to eat them it’s recommended to fry them. The plantain gives them a little sweet taste that makes Mandocas delicious and very tasty.
Mojito en Coco
This is not related to the alcoholic drink ‘Mojitos’. Mojito en Coco is a Venezuelan dish made out of dogfish, white rice, fried plantains, cassava, and cheese. It’s very common to eat it at lunch, and it’s especially eaten at the ‘Holy week’ period, when it is forbidden to eat meat.
Hallacas are the traditional dish in Venezuela for Christmas. They’re made out of corn dough and can be filled with meat, chicken or pork, and they’re wrapped in plantain or bijao leaves. Also, is filled with raisins, olives and capers. Hallacas are essential for the traditional Venezuelan Christmas dish, accompanied with ‘Pan de jamón’ (large bread with jam, raisins and capers) and ‘Ensalada de Gallina’ (chicken salad, with apple, potato and green peas). This dish is eaten all around Venezuela on Christmas.
Bollitos Pelones are basically ground beef meatballs covered in a mass made out of precooked cornmeal. They can be served in a delicious tomato sauce and are usually eaten at dinner. Bollitos Pelones usually take up to 2 hours of preparation and an hour to cook them, depending on the quantity.