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Venezuelan cuisine is influenced by its European[1] (Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and French), West African, and indigenous traditions. Venezuelan cuisine varies greatly from one region to another. Food staples include corn, rice, plantains, yams, beans and several meats.[1][2] Potatoes, tomatoes, onions, eggplants, squashes, spinach and zucchini are also common side dishes in the Venezuelan diet. Ají dulce and papelón are found in most recipes. Worcestershire sauce is also used frequently in stews. Venezuela is also known for having a large variety of white cheese (queso blanco), usually named by geographical region.

Main dishes

Name Image Description
Arepa Ground maize dough cooked, typically grilled on a budare (which is similar to a comal) or deep-fried in a regular pan. The arepa is served filled, similar to a sandwich. There are many fillings including shredded beef, black beans, Venezuelan cheese, ham, fish. Some fillings have proper names. Reina Pepiada (old Venezuelan Spanish for "curvy queen") is a filling for arepa composed of avocado, chicken, and mayonnaise. This particular filling is named after the Venezuelan beauty queen Susana Duijm.[3]
Arepa andina Same as arepas but made with wheat. Popular in the Venezuelan Andes region.
Cachapa A maize pancake, usually filled with fresh cheese and/or fried pork
Cachitos (de jamón) Similar to French croissant filled with ham
Caraotas negras Black beans, usually eaten at lunch time, with rice, plantains and shredded meat, or pabellón
Casabe A flat bread made of bitter cassava
Chicharrón Typically fried pork rinds and eaten as a snack, or as a side dish
Chupe andino A soup traditionally made with cheese, shredded chicken or hen, vegetables and cream.
Ensalada de pollo Chicken salad, usually made with mayonnaise, green cabbage and carrots
Hallaca A typical Christmas dish; hallacas typically have a mixture of beef, pork, chicken, capers, raisins, and olives wrapped in maize (cornmeal dough), bound with string within plantain leaves, and boiled or steamed afterwards
Humitas Small tamales consumed throughout the Andes region of South America, including the Venezuelan Andes region
Huevos pericos Scrambled eggs, butter, sautéed diced onions, and tomatoes; used often to fill an arepa
Hervido de gallina Hen soup, usually with chunks of corn, potatoes, carrots and local root vegetables such as cassava, ñam, auyama (name for local variety of pumpkin), ocumo (cocoyam), and seasoned with onions, garlic, and cilantro[4]
Mandoca Deep-fried cornmeal ring
Mondongo Soup made from diced tripe and slow cooked vegetables
Pabellón criollo Creole pavilion, the national dish: white rice, shredded beef in stew, tajadas (fried ripe plantains) and stewed black beans
Pastel de pollo Chicken pot pie
Polvorosa de pollo Caracas version of chicken pot pie made with pâte sablée
Pastelitos Fried puff pastries, famously a specialty of the Venezuelan Andes. These are made with wheat flour dough, and filled with, for example, cheese and chicken. Usually pastelitos are eaten at breakfast[5]
Pasticho Similar to the Greek dish pastitsio and the Italian lasagna[6]
Polenta Also known as "funche" in some areas of the country

Typical snacks

Name Image Description
Tajadas Fried ripe plantain slices
Tequeños Deep-fried breaded cheese sticks
Tostones and patacones Tostones are a common side dish for fried fish, typically eaten at the beach.[7] They are also used to make the "Zulian patacón", which is a kind of sandwich made using tostones instead of bread[8]
Empanadas Served as snacks by street vendors; can also be eaten as a full meal. The dough is made with corn flour, similar to arepas, and the fillings are typically cheese, stewed black beans, shredded beefs, among others
Pastelitos Same as empanada but made from wheat. Common in the Venezuelan Andes region.


A tequeño is prepared with bread dough with queso blanco duro (hard white cheese) in the middle.



Venezuelan dessert called quesillo


A cachapa with queso de mano

Queso blanco is very popular in Venezuela. It is produced all over Venezuela with different flavors and textures. The name of each variety of cheese is usually related to the geographical region.

Other foods

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Kohnstamm, Thomas; Kohn, Beth. "Venezuela." Lonely Planet. Accessed October 2011.
  2. ^ Brittin, Helen (2011). The Food and Culture Around the World Handbook. Boston: Prentice Hall. pp. 20–21. ISBN 9780135074817.
  3. ^ “Arepa Reina Pepiada - the Arepa Inspired by a Beauty Pageant Queen.” VeneHUB, 7 Feb. 2021,
  4. ^ "VenezuelaTuya". Venezuela Tuya. Retrieved 2020-01-14.
  5. ^ "VenezuelaTuya". Venezuela Tuya. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  6. ^ Romero, Aldemaro (21 June 1998). "Pasticho". (Spanish). Archived from the original on 23 March 2002. Retrieved 2006-04-28.
  7. ^ "12 comidas playeras típicas de Venezuela". La Tienda Venezolana (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-01-14.
  8. ^ Alvarez, Alex (2016-07-07). "An Ode To Plantains, Banana's Much Cuter Cousin". we are mitú. Retrieved 2020-01-14.