This is a shot of an open hallaca, one of the typical Venezuelan Christmas dishes. It's basically a dough of cornmeal filled with a stew made with different kinds of meat (beef, chicken and pork) and vegetables (onions, leek, ají dulce and picante [sweet and hot small chiles], carrots, etc.), some sweet red wine and some chicken stock. This stew if placed along with "adornos" (pieces of olives, capers, chicken, stripes of pepper and onions - and other ingredients, such as eggs, chickpeas, black beans or fish, depending on the part of Venezuela the recipe comes from) on the cornmeal and then enveloped in plantain leaves.
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"In Venezuelan cuisine, an Hallaca typically involves a mixture of beef, pork, chicken, raisins, capers, and olives wrapped in cornmeal dough, folded within plantain leaves, tied with strings, and boiled or steamed afterwards. It is typically served during the Christmas holiday.
Popular myth has it that in colonial times it was common for plantation owners to donate leftover Christmas food scraps, such as bits of pork and beef, to their slaves, who would then wrap them in cornmeal and plantain leaves for subsequent preparation and cooking, which could take anywhere from 2 to 3 hours.
An alternate theory notes the similarity between the hallaca and the Spanish empanada gallega (Galician pastry), emphasizing that the fillings are almost identical. Hallacas would then be empanadas gallegas using specially prepared corn flour rather than wheat flour, and plantain leaf rather than expensive iron cooking molds not readily available in the new world in colonial times.
However, the most likely progenitor of the maize body and plantain envelope of hallaca is the Mesoamerican tamal. This version appears likely because tamal-derived dishes, under various names, spread throughout Spain's American colonies as far south as Argentina in the decades following the conquest. To this day, some people in western Venezuela (primarily in Zulia, Falcón and Lara states) use the terms tamar and tamare to refer to what is basically a bollo—the closest version of the tamal in Venezuela—with a simple meat filling."
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worldcitizen (9000) 2012-12-21 17:11
Gracias por compartir esta comida tradicional de Venezuela. He comido tamales, y un día necesito probar esta versión. :-) Me gusta ver los detalles, como los pedazos de carne, en esta foto. ¡Te deseo un feliz navidad!
Periko (5920) 2012-12-21 18:16
Se parece mucho al tamal mexicano.
Hace 6 años estuve en Caracas y probé las arepas, que son similares a los bocoles de aquí.
elenimavrandoni (0) 2012-12-24 18:04
Hello Yvonne, que manera más bonita para presentar una Hallaca venezolana!!
Felicidades para ti y para tu familia por las fiestas de Navidad y por el Año Nuevo!
COSTANTINO (67302) 2012-12-29 23:06
a diferent shot from the usuals for Christmas
days,I like the tradition and this shot
according to your useful notes is one of
the typical Venezuelan Christmas dishes
delpeoples (59184) 2013-01-12 6:24
Hola dear Yvonne
Did you make this? It looks absolutely delicious. Excellent colours, good angle and a very inviting atmosphere with the warm colours. I bet cooking them in the leaves keeps all the juices and flavour in aswell as adding a unique taste too.
Warmest wishes and Happy New Year
- Copyright: Yvonne Becker (smash2707) (3320)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2012-12-20
- Categories: Daily Life, Food
- Camera: Canon Digital Rebel XS
- Exposure: f/4.5, 1/15 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2012-12-21 16:29