All posts filed under: Venezuela


Monday Meal Review: Venezuela

Lately, I have this crazy energy. I thought it was because I’m almost done with this four-year challenge. Or because we just ate the world in one day, between our event in Tulsa and all of you who cooked along on October 12th! Or because I just saw my family. They always energize me! Then, I thought, perhaps it is because I am exactly two weeks away from my major book deadline. After this date, some changes can be made, but the book baby is largely out of my hands. Or maybe it’s simpler than all this. Maybe I’ve been drinking too many shots of espresso. Am I the only one who does that in busy times? Surely not. The thing about crazy energy, it wakes me up too early. All the things I have to do rush through my brain space, an unwelcome stampede. But even as I squeeze my eyes shut, I can’t make it stop. Generally, it’s about the book. My mind races with all the things I need to fix, edit, add. …

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Venezuelan Fruit Punch | Tizana

Crack open just about any Venezuelan fridge and you just might find a pitcher of tizana. Tizana is as much a drink as it is a fruit salad. The fruity concoction keeps for nearly a week, which makes it perfect for impromptu scooping. Though perhaps not traditional, I’m guilty of digging into the pitcher at breakfast time, dessert time, and, of course, at midnight. I can see how having tizana in the fridge would be a great way to get my daily allotment of fruit, especially when in a hurry.   So how is it made? For starters, you’ll need about… an entire orchard. Chopped. The kinds of fruit varies, but most recipes seemed to include one or more kinds of melon, pineapple, grapes, bananas, and apples. More exotic fruit like papaya, passion fruit, persimmons, guava, and mango appear once in a while, too. The whole mixture is thinned with good ol’ fashioned OJ and a splash of grenadine. Some people like to add club soda or regular soda to the mix, too.   Seriously. If this doesn’t …

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Fresh Corncakes with Cheese | Cachapas

“There’s nothing hidden between heaven and earth.” Venezuelan Proverb Nothing hidden indeed… except, perhaps the cheese inside a steaming, hot Cachapas. Brittle autumn days require an extra slathering of comfort. Ooey gooey cheese-filled corncakes, a.k.a. cachapas fit the bill nicely. Think of them as the South American version of pancakes. The cakes are made with just two ingredients: corn and masa harina, plus the requisite sprinkling of salt and pepper. There’s a simplicity to the recipe that means a batch can be made as easily at midnight as in the afternoon. Which means you can stovetop travel to the beaches of Venezuela any time you like. While you can make cachapas with fresh corn in the fall, you can also use frozen corn any time of year. Corn gives the cachapas sweet overtones. Masa harina – a flour made from hominy, the big-kerneled cousin to corn – binds the mixture together so the corncake holds its shape (all the better for topping with ooey gooey cheese!). Speaking of cheese, the key to the cachapas is to sprinkle them …

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global table experience

Menu: Venezuela

I’ll be posting about our Global Table Experience event  in a few weeks, once we’re done cooking the world (just five weeks left!) For now, here’s a sneak peek of the tables taken by my friends over at Concepts PR (you can click it to make it larger). There is 90% of the world on those tables. Amazing. While I was supposed to be cooking Venezuela, all the Global Table Experience craziness was going on. You can see the line starting to form on the right.  There was a massive crowd. But more on that later. For now, let’s talk Venezuela. I chose two amazing but simple items to try: Watch for the recipes in the coming days… Fresh Corncakes with Cheese | Cachapas [Recipe] Think pancakes, but made with blended corn kernels. Hot Cachapas are topped with cheese, then folded in half. Unlike Arepas, which require specialty flour, Cachapas are a very accessible taste of Venezuela. Venezuelan Fruit Punch | Tizana [Recipe] There are a million different ways to make Tizana, but two things …

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La Gran Sabana (Venezuela). Photo by Inti.

About the Food of Venezuela

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 …

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