FOOD  

 

Despite its variety, Venezuelan food has a marked Indian influence.  Our national bread is the arepa, prepared with corn flour.

At Christmas, all over Venezuela, a special and typical food is cooked in every house; it is called hallaca.  The hallaca is a corn-meal pie stuffed with pork or chicken, olives and raisins and wrapped in plantain leaves and boiled.   This kind of banana (plátano) is used often in our kitchen and is the base for many national food specialties.

The variety of fruits in Venezuela is very rich, and being a tropical country the abundance and beauty are such that their display in our markets makes them look picturesque and exotic.

 

AREPAS

The arepa is perhaps the most popular food in Venezuela.  It is eaten hot as a kind of bread to accompany a meal, or by itself, stuffed with meat, bologna, cheese, scrambled eggs, or anything one wishes.  It is old days, arepas were prepared from freshly husked and ground corn, but today, the pre-cooked white corn flour has eliminated this lengthy process.

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons of salt

2 cups of corn flour

2 ½ cups of warm water

 

Preparation:

  Put the corn flour in a bowl and add the salted water little by little, mixing with the flour until has become a dough.  Let it rest for five minutes.  Now, shape the dough into round rolls about 3 inches in diameter and 1-2 inches thick.  In a lightly greased skillet, slowly cook the arepas until a crust forms on each side.  Now place them into a casserole and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes, until the arepas sound hollow when tapped.

 

TEQUEÑOS

Ingredients:

4 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup water (approx.)

1 lb. Soft white cheese

1heaping tablespoon butter

2 eggs yolks

1 teaspoon sugar

 

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients except the cheese, using only enough water to make a rather soft dough.  Set aside for a few minutes.  Cut the cheese into strips of ½ inch wide by 2 ½ inches long.  Divide dough into four parts.  Roll each part as thin as possible, but into ½ inch strips and wind around the cheese until the latter become completely covered.  Fry in hot deep oil until golden brown.  Serve as once.  Makes about 60.

 

CACHAPAS DE BUDARE  

Ingredients:

4 cups of tender corn kernels (canned corn may be used)

3 teaspoons of salt

¾ to 1 cup of water (depending on how tender the corn is)

¾ cup of sugar

 

Preparation:

  Mix all the ingredients in a blender.  The mix should become thick and heavy.  If not, add more corn or a few tablespoons of Jiffy Corn Muffins Mix.  Shape the mix into small pancakes approximately 1-2 inch thick and about 5 inches in diameter.  Let them cook on medium heat for about one minute on each side, or until small bubbles form on the top.  Pancakes should be served hot, and may be accompanied with cheese (feta cheese is a good option).

 

CHEESE BALLS

 

Ingredients:

¼ cup cornstarch (optional)

6 or 8 eggs or egg whites

2 lbs. Grated white cheese (llanero)

A little milk is necessary

Preparation:

Blend ingredients into a stiff dough using milk.  Shape into small balls by rolling between the palms of hands.  Fry in hot, deep fat oil until the balls rise and become of a brown color.  Serve at once on toothpicks.  Makes 40 to 50.

   

                                                 

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