Sunday, October 16, 2011

How to Make Hallacas - Venezuelan Christmas Food

The most important dish at Christmas in Venezuela is without doubt the hallaca, a cornmeal-dough pocket stuffed with a host of tasty ingredients, wrapped in a plantain leaf, and boiled.

Culinary legend has it that the hallaca originated from the tradition of the plantation owners giving the leftover scraps from their Christmas banquets to the slaves, who would use them to spice up the boiled cornmeal dough (known as bollos) that constituted their daily diet.

That's why, the theory goes, hallacas are stuffed with such an odd range of things, from chicken, beef and pork stew to olives, raisins, capers and even boiled eggs, depending on the family recipe.

Making hallacas is an elaborate process with many stages, and in Venezuela usually involves the whole family.

Luckily, Adriana Lopez, co-owner of Pica Pica restaurant in San Francisco, has made a very comprehensive set of videos showing how to make your own hallacas at home.

For more great recipes check out Adriana Lopez' blog:

1 comment:

Oliver said...

Hi, do you have any more information about Sabor Venezolano or any other place to find cachapas in London? I tried looking them up to see if they have a pop-up a stall anywhere else during the weekend but could not find anything. Thanks in advance.
By the way, there is a nice Venezuelan/Colombian restaurant in Brixton Village called La Gran Cabana...they do empanadas, arepas, pabellon...