Venezuela is the last of our South American countries, and, thanks to this T-shaped country, we’re saying goodbye to the continent in style.
Let’s toast the 1,700 miles of coastline with a tizana [Recipe], a fruit punch made with tons of cut up fruit. Let’s cheer for the southeastern highlands with a sip of chicha, fermented corn drink. Let’s dance along her northern mountains with a splash of rum. And let’s slip along the northwestern lowlands with a thick and creamy glass of cocada (a.k.a. coconut milkshake).
After we’ve drunk our fill, we can gobble up a a few arepas, topped with avocado chicken salad. These are the quintessential snacks of Venezuela, and can be filled with a million other things, too.
If you want something more substantial, let’s pull up to a plate of Pabellón Criollo, a platter of black beans, slow cooked beef, rice, and plantains. This is the national dish of Venezuela, a favorite in all regions of the country.
Of course, I like the idea of keeping things simple, too. Perhaps we can end the day with folded cachapas [Recipe], a pancake of sorts made with fresh corn and topped with cheese. Speaking of cheese, a sprinkling is most definitely s a happy element of Venezuelan cooking. The most popular is Queso de Mano, a soft and creamy cheese like mozarella which makes its way on the cachapas and the arepas.
And let’s not forget the sweet side of Venezuela. Perhaps a slice of bien me sabe will do the trick: a milk and coconut soaked cake topped with meringue. Or then again, maybe you’d rather marquesa, a no-bake cookie and chocolate layered cake. Either way your smile will be bigger after some stovetop travels to Venezuela.
What are your favorite dishes from this beautiful country?