Venezuela - Food and Drink
Due to the various landscapes found within Venezuela, cuisine is very much dependent on region. The food of the area has been influenced naturally by the indigenous populations but also by the many European cultures (Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and French) who have made the country their home. With a large coastline, seafood is an important staple of diets on the coast, while corn, rice, plantains and yams are featured in many meals. Meat (beef and chicken) is central to several dishes and is often served shredded. Fresh tropical fruit is abundant and mangos, papayas, passion fruit, bananas and more are readily available.
Popular dishes include:
Arepa: This is one of the most famous meals in all of Venezuela. It is made up of a cornmeal cake that is either grilled, baked or fried. It is stuffed with a variety of meats and cheese.
Pabellon criollo: This is a very traditional dish in Venezuela that consists of black beans and rice as well as strips of flank steak that have been cooked with tomatoes. The word pabellon means flag, and the food in this dish is arranged on the plate to look like a tri-colour flag.
Chivo al Coco: This dish is a speciality of the coastal region. Shredded goat meat is cooked with coconut milk and then served with fried mashed green bananas as an accompaniment.
Empanadas: These deep-fried turnovers are made from cornmeal and are stuffed with ham, cheese, chicken or fish.
Cachapas: A slightly sweet pancake, cachapas are made from maize and served with a mozzarella-type cheese.
Hallaca: This dish is traditionally served at Christmas and New Year. It consists of beef, pork and chicken as well as onions, peppers, tomatoes, raisins, olives and spices mixed into a maize dough. This mixture is then wrapped in banana leaves and is steamed.
Coffee is a popular beverage in Venezuela, particularly espresso style. Other favourite and refreshing drinks include cocada which is a milkshake made from coconut milk (it is extremely popular on the coast), merengadas which are fruity milkshakes, papelón con limon which is sugarcane juice flavoured with lemon, and chica, a sweet rice-based drink. The Polar beer brand is the most well known beer in Venezuela and there are three different kinds: Polar Light, Polar Ice and Solera. Whisky is another favourite alcoholic drink in the country and it is often the drink of choice during special occasions.
Things to know:
A 10% service charge is added to most bar and restaurant bills, however in more high-end restaurants, an additional 10% tip is customary.
Venezuela Travel Information
At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy to navigate travel information section dedicated to Venezuela.
Learn about the history and culture of Venezuela, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about Venezuela's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, along with 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering Venezuela for yourself. Start exploring… book one of our Venezuela vacations today!
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