Most Popular Venezuelan Foods
Venezuela is a country with an extensive culture, from the bagpipes of the maracuchos to the joropo of the hustlers. And it has traditions that remain almost intact from the beginning of its existence.
An entire book would be needed to cover this topic in full. But here we will focus on something specific: The main dish of each of its 24 states.
Each state has its own culture. Some are more different than others but they all are characterized by how extensive they can be and, at the same time, Venezuelan simplicity.
It took us some time to decide which dish to choose and, of course, which to leave out – there are so many options and too little space. Anyway, let’s start our trip through this beautiful country.
Most Popular Dish in Amazon
With a wild gastronomy, its dishes are made up of foods that are, let’s say, within reach. Having the largest freshwater river in the world, most of the diet is based on fish and animals that are in the vicinity of this vital resource.
Pisillo de fish
The preparation of this dish is somewhat time consuming but it is very easy. The first thing to do is to put the fish in boiling water and let it cook until it is as soft as possible. This is so that the meat can be easily separated from the bones and put it to wick after having cooled.
The locals usually prepare the pisillo with very few ingredients since the fish has a good taste when simply seasoned with salt.
But this does not mean that these can’t be added:
- a little oil or powder of onoto.
After stirring all the ingredients together with the processed fish, the dish is ready for the table.
Most Popular Dish in Anzoátegui
Being part of the Venezuelan coast, we would all think that its main dish is based on seafood, but what you will see next will surprise you.
The morrocoy cake is a dish based on bananas, eggs, onions, and the main ingredient: turtle.
The process is very similar to the Amazon dish – cooking the turtle until it is soft enough so the meat falls off the bones. After cooling, it is mixed with coriander and garlic and stir fried.
The banana is chopped into wheels and fried and laid out to form a bed for the turtle mixture. On top, is placed another layer, this time of tortillas made with eggs. This is repeated to form a cake of a significant thickness.
Bake at 150 ° until au gratin.
This rare but delicious dish is a favorite of the population of Anzoátegui, making it their traditional dish
Most Popular Dish in Apure
The Apurian region offers a wide and varied range of Creole delicacies using river fish, fried yucca, and much more.
This plain dish is the main food of the state. Made with roasted chiguire, white rice, slices of ripe fried plantain, and a good piece of cheese.
In this dish, unlike those mentioned above, everything is prepared separately. The rice and bananas are prepared individually as is the chiguire, whose preparation is the same as that of the fish pisillo.
Most Popular Dish in Aragua
One of the characteristics of the state of Aragua is that most of its meals contain meat in almost any form.
Among its dishes, although they are not native, is the soup of mondongo.
This is a soup made with the belly of the cow, which is also known as corns. This is boiled for a good long time after being washed well.
Once ready, it is placed in a pot with potatoes, carrots, ocumos, cassava, and chickpeas, and left to boil until it becomes a thick concentrate. It should be noted that this soup is quite nutritious.
The mondongo is a recipe that is well known in different parts of Latin America, with versions popular in Panama, Ecuador and Peru. There are even versions of this dish in some parts of Europe, particularly in France, Italy, Romania, Scotland, Portugal, and Spain.
Most Popular Dish in Barinas
As part of the llanero states of Venezuela, it is hardly necessary to mention that this meal is not only part of Barinas, but is one of the most important meals in the whole country.
Meat in stick
This is counsumed on the plains of Barines and Apureños and even in the areas with the highest number of cities.
To make meat in stick you need three essential things: Good firewood, good meat and, most importantly, a good hand.
The wood must be quite dry so that will make good embers.
The meat must be a good quality, obviously, and preferably from a somewhat young and tender cow.
The good hand refers to the grill as the meat must be kept a good distance from the embers, that is, neither too far nor too close. The hand is also in charge of seasoning the meat, although only salt is used.
Most Popular Dish in Bolivar
The state of Bolivar is the largest in Venezuelan territory, occupying 25% of the country. Due to its large size, many cultures exist together, making it very diverse.
Their cuisine includes dishes made from the products of their own land, such as Casabe, which is made with cassava. But this is not the main dish.
Sapoara is a river fish and is the main element of local cuisine.
This fish abounds in the adjacent Orinoco and Caroní rivers, making it a traditional food of the state. It can be stuffed, roasted, fried, and even prepared in sancocho.
A curious fact about this fish is that it only appears once a year in this area, and it is celebrated throughout the month of August with an internationally famous fair called La Sapoara Fair.
Most Popular Dish in Carabobo
Carabobo is located in the central north region of Venezuela, covering important territory. This puts it in the perfect location for a lot of east-west traffic, which converges on important cities.
Because of this, Carabobo is Venezuela’s industrial state par excellence and represents a great economic and urban growth and a very diverse culture.
Among the popular dishes here, and well known by all Venezuelans, is the following.
The tostones of the coast are made with fried green bananas, which, before being fried, are crushed, mostly with a hammer or, failing that, a stone, so that most of the banana flesh squishes out of cracks in the skin.
After frying them, they are topped with cabbage and carrot salad, grated cheese, mayonnaise and tomato sauce.
Most Popular Dish in Cojedes
One of the llanero states of Venezuela has one of the most diverse cultures, from the collegiate bulls to Los Diablitos Danzantes de Tinaquillo, making it one of the culturally richest states.
Obviously its gastronomy reflects this and for the first time on our trip, we will talk about a dessert.
The people of Venezuela consider majarete a heavenly dessert. It is made with coconut milk and cornmeal and sprinkled with powdered cinnamon powder.
Preparation is simple: Coconut milk is extracted by liquefying it with hot water, then it is strained, leaving the “che” behind. The milk is put on the heat and flour, cinnamon, sugar and salt are added. The mixture is left to cook over a medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes and is finally poured into any mold and left to stand at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
Most Popular Dish in Delta Amacuro
The gastronomy of Delta Amacuro, being influenced by the Warao, Guyanese, and Margarite cultures, offers a rich variety of dishes made with different species of fish, which is why fish is their main meal.
This is the best dish to share with friends on a Sunday, not only because of how easy it is to fish nearby but also because of its high nutritional level. The preparation has no science; Simply assemble a good-sized pot of garlic, coriander, yucca, occumo, green banana, yam, and even auyama, and spices to taste. Once the vegetables are soft, the fish is added and left to simmer.
This dish is commonly accompanied with casabe or arepas.
Most Popular Dish in Distrito Capital
Due to the influence of migrants, we can find the culinary specialties of various parts of Venezuela in the Capital District, creating a cuisine with a little bit of everything.
This pavilion, unlike the veguero, is prepared with meatloaf and black beans. The preparation is basically the same as the pavilion veguero, creating delicious Venezuelan food at its best.
This dish is considered the most important of all Venezuela.
Most Popular Dish in Guárico
The Guárico state is located in the central region of Venezuela, specifically in the plains, and is characterized by its high amount of livestock, which is why meat and chicken play an important role on their tables.
This dish is one of the most common on the Venezuelan plains, and even more in the Guárico state, which has meant the chicken stew is among the main dishes on the table. along with the fish sancocho. It is ideal to share with friends.
Its preparation is simple – cook the chicken with abundant green dressings and vegetables.
Most Popular Dish in Lara
The twilight city is recognized for its good seasoning and love of cooking, providing for all of us an endless variety of dishes. Here, we will only talk about one.
This is a kind of soup made with goat’s head, guts, and spine. Legumes, vegetables, and spices are added during cooking. For Larenses, the taste of this dish is, in short, immeasurable.
Most Popular Dish in Mérida
The state of Mérida has high and low terrain, that is, mountains and valleys. Even so, livestock prevails in both areas but you will be surprised by what is one of their most important dishes.
The Andean arepa, distinguishing itself from the traditional Venezuelan arepa, is totally different both in its preparation and ingredients.
It is made from leavened or all-purpose wheat flour. If using all-purpose wheat flour, add a little baking soda or yeast. The dish also contains water, egg, and a touch of salt.
The preparation takes a little time, which is totally contrary to the preparation of traditional arepa. First, all the dry ingredients are mixed in a container and then water along with other ingredients are added. It must be kneaded very well to create a dough that is neither too hard nor too soft.
After this, it is left to rest and then rolled out with a rolling pin until it is approximately half a centimeter thick. With a container of the desired size, the dough is chopped and shaped as arepa. Once this is done, the iron is heated and greased to let the arepas cook.
Most Popular Dish in Miranda
Being another of the coastal states of Venezuela, among its dishes are various types of fish and food based on the corn and bananas that grow on their lands. But, surprising again, one of its main meals is based on beef.
The black roast is made with a beef cut called “Round Boy”, whose characteristic is its dark color and its sweet taste.
To prepare it, the meat is cut into slices and marinated red wine, black pepper, garlic and salt to taste over night. Then it is cooked in a large pot with other ingredients such as tomatoes, onion, oil, and pepper until it acquires its dark hue.
Most Popular Dish in Monagas
A state located in the northeast of the country bordering the Atlantic Ocean, Monagas also has a great variety of fish-based dishes.
Sancocho de Guaraguara
This is a soup based on a river fish called Guaraguara, vegetables and sweet pepper.
As in all the sancochos mentioned above, you should first put in a good-sized pot approximatly 5 liters of water, along with all the vegetables and dressings previously chopped. When the vegetables are soft, the fish is added and allowed to boil for approximately 20 minutes.
Most Popular Dish in Nueva Esparta
It is first very important to mention that this state is located in the insular part of the country, and has a great tourist influence on its gastronomy.
As for its cuisine, Nueva Esparta is characterized by its special seasoning based on ingredients such as onion, sweet pepper, and garlic.
The dogfish is a species of small shark that is eaten crumbled and stewed. It is also very common to find cazón empanadas on any street in all the towns of Nueva Esparta.
They also have other seafood-based dishes, but an entire book would be needed to talk about every one.
Most Popular Dish in Portuguesa
This state is located in the central-western region of the country and is considered to be “El Granero de Venezuela” due to its high agricultural production. Not only that, it is the only state wth such a high concentration of Lapas.
Although the barnacle lives in different parts of Venezuelan territory, Portuguesa is the only state where it is abundant enough to make this animal part of one of its most important dishes.
Although prepared in different ways elsewhere, the Portuguese usually accompany this meal with arepas, black beans, fried plantain, llanero cheese, and meatloaf, giving it the name “Creole breakfast”.
Most Popular Dish in Sucre
Although this state is located on the Venezuelan coast, and many of its meals come from the sea, its main dish is based on chicken. Another surprise on this long trip through Venezuela.
Cocoa, being one of the main ingredients, is the main product of Sucre, specifically in the Arismendi area.
To prepare the cocoa chicken, the first thing to do is to marinade the chicken with cocoa liquor and salt and pepper to taste. When cooking the chicken, it must be done over high heat and with little oil so that it drains and browns quickly.
Grated cocoa and a couple of julienne charlottes are added for each chicken breast. The dish is diluted in a little chicken consommé and a tablespoon of tomato paste, and left to reduce until a thick sauce forms.
Most Popular Dish in Táchira
The state of Táchira is another Andean state of Venezuela, another being Mérida, and they have a certain kinship in culture and gastronomy, although also having certain variations.
Táchira’s food was strongly influenced by the arrival of Italians, Spaniards, and Portuguese. Even so, a little Creole essence is maintained.
The Andean Find
The hallaca itself is a traditional dish of Venezuela at Christmas time. But it is also a typical dish of this region, where it is given a different preparation, with chickpeas, as an indigenous touch.
The preparation is somewhat complex because a dough and stew are made separately.
For the stew, all the ingredients are combined and allowed to rest in the refrigerator overnight.
To prepare the dough, mix Gold Bell oil and onoto seeds in a pot, heat and strain. After this, mix chicken broth with corn and onotted oil and add while kneading and forming a soft dough.
Once prepared, it is cooked in well washed banana leaves. They are tied delicately but strongly at the same time so that they do not come loose, and the whole dish is boiled for an hour.
Most Popular Dish in Trujillo
When talking about varied but abundantly nutritious cuisines, we must consider Trujillo, since it represents a series of dishes with ingredients of all kinds.
The Andean pinch
This is undoubtedly one of the most representative dishes of the state and has a great variety of ingredients.
To prepare it, a certain procedure must be followed:
In a deep-bottomed pot, cook chicken broth and potatoes until they soften. While this is cooking, garlic and onions are sauteed in butter until they are softened and are then added to the potato pot, which is allowed to reduce.
Salt and freshly ground pepper are added to taste and then milk, egg, and cheese.
Quickly stir with a wooden spoon so that the egg spreads and the cheese melts, taking care that it does not boil, and finally add coriander.
And that’s it!
Most Popular Dish in Vargas
In this state, the most representative and sustainable activity is fishing, which greatly influences gastronomy, yet, being another state of Venezuela, it does not leave its ancient traditions behind.
Arepas are a traditional dish throughout Venezuela. However, in the state of Vargas there is this sweet variation.
The preparation of these arepas is simple, using star anise and paper in addition to traditional arepa ingredients. These arepas are accompanied with other ingredients which can vary greatly since the arepas are perfect for breakfast and dinner.
Among the ingredients are cheese, meat, fish, chicken or anything that comes to mind.
Most Popular Dish in Yaracuy
Out of all the states in the country, the food of Yaracuy is the one that has the most tradition in history and culture. The dish mentioned here is another national symbol like the Creole pavilion and the arepa.
The corn cachapas, originally attributed to the central region of Venezuela, where the indigenous people who inhabited the Mirandine lands cultivated corn, has been an icon of Venezuelan history.
To prepare them, the first thing to do is to peel the jojotos and grind them as finely as possible.
After this, mix it with sugar, a little salt and milk, forming a thick dough. After this, in a very hot budare or pan, the oil is spread and a little dough is added, forming a thin cake that will be browned. When golden brown, it is turned over and the same procedure is done on the other side.
Most Popular Dish in Zulia
Located in the northeast of the country, this state is one of the most populous and its cuisine is mostly based on banana, coconut, fish, and red meat.
As we have also seen in other parts of Venezuela, patacones are very well known and typical in different parts of the territory. Even so, for the Zulians these are mythical, since the patacones are about thin banana slices fried in oil, which at the time of serving appear with different contours and can be accompanied by several sauces.
It is considered fast food in Maracaibo.