Feel like celebrating spring’s long overdue arrival? Nothing says fun in the sun like caribbean beats and seriously delicious and soulful Venezuelan food, which is convenient because Sunday will play host to Venezuelan food fest Feria Sabores.
Venezuelan you said? Yes my friend, the only thing richer than its oil reserves is its food culture and we are here to guide you through the festival’s delicious and extensive food offerings. Prepare your bellies, bust out your sunscreen and elastic waisted jeans – it’s eating time.
- Arepas: Probably Venezuela’s most emblematic dish, arepas have been the source of a binational dispute for ages. Both Colombian and Venezuelan claim the origin of this corn-based-pancake bomba. What’s the big deal? Well, they are better than any simple pancake could ever dream of being. Fried, stuffed or even cooked a la parrilla, arepas are probably the most versatile snack out there. Sunday you’ll find them with different Venezuelan stuffings such as Pepiada (chicken and avocado), Pelua (meatloaf and cheddar) or Pabellon (black beans, meat and cheese). We can’t figure out which one we like better. So we might try them all. Judgement free zone guys.
- Cachapas: Do you know what crêpes have been missing all along? A Venezuelan makeover. Think of cachapas as the ultimate crêpe: simple wheat flour is replaced with grated sweet corn. The filling can be almost anything you like, but Venezuelans in the know usually prefer it with a creamy and salty melted cheese.
- Patacones: Green plantain is without a doubt a key ingredient in the caribbean cuisine. Venezuelans know exactly how to enhance the basic fried plantain – locally known as Patacon – with all kinds of toppings: meatloaf, cheese, guasaca – the local guacamole – and occasionally, some salad.
- Hervido: Big party plans for the weekend? Then this is your must-try dish. Venezuelans like to call this soup “levanta muertos”, as it is supposed to help you “come back from the dead”, or at least from a really bad hangover. Meat, potatoes, vegetables and – of course – sweet corn are some of this allegedly magical soup’s components.
- Tequeños: We will briefly mention the Colombian version of this dish, just to make the description as clear as possible: “deditos de queso” or “cheese fingers”. A finger-shaped wheat based dough filled with cheese. Not much to add here, just trust our word and give them a try.
- Empanadas: Before you say anything, let us clear things up: they’ve got very little to do with the Argentine version. Ok, yes the principle is the same. But the ingredients and preparation methods change the result by 100%. Venezuelan empanadas are made with a thin corn dough and stuffed with ground beef or fish. Best part: they’re fried. Double the crunchiness, double the joy. Need we say more?
- Caraotas: Black beans, bacon, white rice, melty cheese. What’s there not to love? You’ll see this dish is usually served in layers, so mixing is a key here. Hot sauce on top is recommend.
- Hallaquitas: This is the Venezuelan version of tamales. Usually served as a side dish, hallaquitas consist of a soft corn dough enhanced with some spices and wrapped in corn leaves. The stuffed version of this delight is usually reserved for Christmas time. But the guys from Feria Sabores thought this Sunday was as good a time as any to celebrate and will be serving them with ground beef and chicken fillings.
Oh and please note: people on detox diets should restrain (you probably shouldn’t even be reading this). As you might have noticed, several of the cooking methods include frying, cheesy-stuffing, or both. Good news for Celiacos though, as many of these treats are made from corn, and so are completely suitable for people with gluten allergies.
A full list of participant restaurants and cooks is available on the event’s Facebook Page. Now that you are familiar with Venezuelan cuisine you’ve got no excuses to miss this exotic and exciting food fair. The fifth edition of Feria Sabores will be taking place this Sunday from 12 pm at Galpón de los Milagros (Gorriti and the train tracks). We know you can’t wait to be there.