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Venezuelans, living between the Caribbean and the Andes, grow and eat a great variety of tropical fruits, squashes, corn, beans and rice. Coastal main dishes include seafood; deeper into the interior, goat, beef and potatoes are typical. With such diverse ingredients available, the recipe for the national dish, Pabellon Criollo, a plate of shredded seasoned beef with black beans, rice and fried plantains, is pretty flexible. Near the coast, it may be made with fish; in some areas, wild caiman or capybara might replace the beef. Arepas, thick, round corn cakes, plain or filled with meat, cheese or vegetables, are the other national favorite. Traditionally made with corn that was soaked, cooked, dried, then ground to flour in a laborious process, it is easier to make arepas now--the flour mix is readily available in Venezuelan markets. Venezuelans love arepas so much that they use the term nueve arepas to describe a shutout in baseball, the national pastime. Picture nine round corn cakes—a score of nine zeros!

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Featured Cook

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Porlamar, Nueva Esparta, Venezuela
Living In: Marion, North Carolina, USA
About me:
Member of a very italian family, cooking was always essential to me. I hadn't cooked more than a few cakes and cupcakes until I moved out. Other than cooking I love drawing, writing, studying and meditating while I sew. I want to be a film maker when I graduate.

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Newest Cooks

Photo by chely1217


Cooking Level: Expert
Home Town: Caracas, Distrito Federal, Venezuela
Living In: Riverview, Florida, USA
About me: I was born in Queens, NY from Colombian parents, and raised in Caracas Venezuela.
Photo by Yemi


Cooking Level: Intermediate
Home Town: Maracaibo, Zulia, Venezuela
Living In: Hamilton, New Jersey, USA
Photo by Nancycs


Cooking Level: Beginning
Home Town: Puerto Ordaz, Bolívar, Venezuela
Living In: Austin, Texas, USA

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Newest Reviews

Dirty Diapers

Reviewed on Aug. 5, 2014 by Cecy   view full review
People liked these so much!

Fresh Southern Peach Cobbler

Reviewed on Jul. 4, 2014 by Carmen   view full review
DELICIOUS! Would not change anything! I served it last night with a small scoop of vanilla ice...

To Die For Blueberry Muffins

Reviewed on May 8, 2014 by Carmen   view full review
I made this recipe yesterday, 2 batches of it. There's nothing left now! One thing though: I...

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