Cultural Humility: Venezuela

Gabby Puche and Christabel Menezes

Venezuelan food has influences from Indigenous, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, African and Caribbean peoples. The most recent estimates identified 51 distinct indigenous groups, 44 of which are officially recognised by the Venezuelan government. Some groups include the Wayuú, Pemón, Warao, Yanomamö and Kariña groups.


Corn has remained an important staple in Venezuelan cuisine, providing comfort and a source of great nutrition.

Nutrition: dietary fiber, whole grain, gluten free, lutein and zeaxanthin. It is used in arepas, empanadas, hallacas, cachapas and bollitos.

Pabellón Criollo: Rice, beans, tajadas (plantains) and shredded meats.

Pernil: Venezuelan pork roast.

Empanadas: Fried/baked turnovers with various fillings.

Cachapas: Sweet corn pancake cooked in a budare (a clay/iron plate). Served with queso de mano.

Bistec a Caballo: ‘Steak on horseback’. Fried eggs with steak.

Asado Negro: ‘Dark beef roast’ from Caracas. Made with onions, sweet peppers and other aromatics.

Casabe: Crispy flatbread made from cassava (yuca) flour.

Chivo al Coco: Goat meat cooked with coconut milk.

Lengua de Res: Beef tongue cooked in various spices.

Ñoquis: Gnocchi from Italian influences.

Cachitos: Pastry similar to croissant, often filled with ham and cheese (cachitos de jamon).

Hallacas: Thin layer of corn dough stuffed with a meat filling topped with vegetables.

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