If you know a bit about Latin American History, you can infer how our cuisine came to be. Our foods have clear influences of our indigenous tribes who inhabited the country before it’s discovery. However, we also have strong European influences, due to the fact they discovered our land.
The use of locally grown products such as corn and cassava is predominant in most of our dishes. However, our most common dishes vary in some ingredients or techniques from one country region to another. Which is explained by the fact that some products may be acquired easier in some regions of the country than in others, as well as that particular region’s traditions.
Our most common dishes all over the country include the famous Arepas, Empanadas, Pabellón Criollo, the Christmas favorite “La Hallaca”, Cazabe, Cachapas, Tostones, Tequeños, Asado Negro, Guasacaca and many more.
Venezuelan food can be as unique as our Hallacas (Ah-jac-kas), a dish prepared exclusively during the Christmas holidays and only by Venezuelans, or as common as Empanadas (ĕm’pə-nä’dəs), which can also be found to be common in Colombia, Argentina and other Latin American countries but made with slightly different ingredients and cooking techniques.
Food in Venezuela also differs between regions in the country, and also even between families. You may often find that Hallacas could be so different from one family to another, even within the same region due to the difference in techniques and ingredients.
However, no matter where you go to have some Venezuelan food, I promise you will taste something you’ve never tasted before and you will love it.