How the gastronomy of the Canaries and Venezuela became intertwined
An example of the exchanges generated between the Canaries and Venezuelans can be seen in the field of gastronomy, where the influence of Venezuela in the Canary Islands is evident through the “arepas” or flat bread made of corn flour.
This was a common food among Venezuelans and formed a basic part of the diet in the country, representing an economic and nutritious product.
It is curious to observe how the arepas is a common element between the two sides, because in the Canaries, it was not a product that had been part of the culinary tradition. This honour went to gofio which was considered a fundamental part of gastrono-my.
Gofio also went to Vene-zuela with the islands’ immigrants, extending the network of manufacturers throughout the country run by Canarians.
An example of this would be the company Gofio La Lucha, one of the main points of sale and distribution of the product in the country.
Arepa, which over many year became a regular part of the diet for many Canarians, returned to become a star from the 16th to 20th century.
The product has brought together a whole series of words like guasacaca (sauce that is added to the arepas), planchas (where corn flour is toasted), or stuffed like a meatloaf, reina pepeada or other kinds of seasonings that are part of the creole tradition and have been received with acceptance among Canaries.
To this we must add that establishments have even been created called “areperas” by those Canarians returning to Venezuela in recent years. Establishments in which not only can be purchased arepas but a whole range of elements of the Venezuelan cuisine.
You can also see other products of the Venezuelan cuisine (pabellón criollo, yuca, hallacas, chicha de arroz, etc) that have spread in the cuisine of the islands.
Pabellon criollo is a typical Venezuelan dish with white rice, shredded beef, fried bananas and black beans and is considered the national dish.
Also, the hallaca in Venezuela is a dish that dates back to the early days of the colony, a product representing a symbol of Christmas in Venezuela, and one which also reached the archipelago.
It’s made of a corn mass which is stretched to a thin cake. On top they put a beef, chicken and pork stew, onions, olives, raisons, a bit of chicken and a few pickles. Then this mass with all its ingredients inside is covered in banana leaves and cooked in boiling water for an hour.
In short, we have briefly noted some elements which, together with others, are part of the whole exchange that has been generated as a result of the connection between the two from the processes of emigration and return between the Canary Islands and Venezuela at different historical moments.