Venezuela: Food                                                 

  • Venezuela’s cuisine is influenced by the foods of Spain, Portugal, Italy and France in addition to that of West Africa and the indigenous groups of Venezuela.

  • Common ingredients include: corn, rice, plantain, beans, yams, meat, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and zucchini.


  •   Arepas (photo), a staple of Venezuelan cuisine, originated from the native Timoto-Cuica people. They are a bit like English muffins and are made of ground maize dough or cooked flour. Often they are served with ingredients in the middle making a sandwich.


Hallacas (photo) typically have a mixture of beef, pork, chicken, capers, raisins and olives wrapped in maize (cornmeal dough). First they are tied with string in plantain leaves to form little pockets and then are usually boiled or steamed.

Pabellón criollo (photo below) is a dish that consists of rice, shredded beef and stewed beans. Often the meal is served with plantains (bananas). Many consider pabellón criollo to be national dish of Venezuela.




  • Empanadas are made by folding dough or bread around a filling of meat, cheese, huitlacoche (corn smut), vegetables or fruits. 


  • Mandocas are Venezuelan deep-fried pretzels made from cornmeal. They are often served hot with butter and cheese.