Venezuelan cuisine

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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][2] Potatoes, tomatoes, onions, eggplants, squashes and zucchini are also common sides in the Venezuelan diet.

Regional cuisine[edit]

In the eastern states (Oriente), south-eastern states (Guayana), and northern states (Caribe), there is a wide gamut of fresh and saltwater fish, seafood and crustaceans. Tubers such as potato and yam are abundant. Carbs such as corn, rice and pasta (Venezuelans are the second highest pasta consumers in the world, after Italy) are likewise popular. Fresh fruits include lettuce, tomatoes and plantains.

The preferred meats in western states (occidente) include goat (usually prepared with tomato) and rabbit. There is also extensive use of plantains and a variety of cheeses. Dishes are influenced by the local tribes as well as by Colombian cuisine.

In Llanos beef and game (deer, chigüire, lapa, morrocoy, etc.) are mostly grilled or roasted. Corn (in the form of cachapas), several sorts of soft, white cheese (guayanés, de mano, crineja, etc.) and other milk products are widely used.

The Andean region is marked by potatoes (other tubers), wheat, beef, lamb and chicken. There is not much fish because the region does not have a coastal line. One exception is trout, which is raised on fish farms. Dishes in this region show European and native Andean peoples' influences.

Main dishes[edit]

Polenta with sausages
  • Arepa
  • Asado negro
  • Bistec a caballo
  • Bollo pelón
  • Cachapa - Maize pancake
  • 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.[3]
  • 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[edit]


A tequeño is prepared with a bread dough with queso blanco (white cheese) in the middle.
Mandocas are Venezuelan deep-fried pretzels 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



  • 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)


Venezuelan Quesillo
  • 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


  • 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

Other foods[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Kohnstamm, Thomas; Kohn, Beth. "Venezuela." Lonely Planet. Accessed October 2011.
  2. ^ Brittin, Helen (2011). The Food and Culture Around the World Handbook. Boston: Prentice Hall. pp. 20–21. 
  3. ^ Romero, Aldemaro (21 June 1998). "Pasticho". (Spanish). Retrieved 2006-04-28. [dead link]

External links[edit]