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I was very excited when Toronto Life Magazine ask me to produce a dish for
their special 2011 Holiday dinner ‘Outsourced’ section.

I said to myself,  ‘ Finally, I get the change to showcase our Venezuelan traditional Christmas dish’, the Hallaca.

This is the first time a South America Christmas dish is been featured on the Food
& Drink section of Toronto Life!!

The Hallaca by Ryan Szulc Photography

Fresh hallaca with chayote relish

Hallacas are similar to tamales, but they are steamed in banana leaves instead
of corn husks. The white corn masa [harina Pan]which is gluten free, is colored
yellow with annato oil and we add water or chicken stock and salt. The stuffing
consists of a stew made with pork, beef and chicken with olives and raisins.
Depending on the family recipe, you can add peppers, cooked eggs. etc. etc. . .
Every family has their own variation.

The Hallaca by Ryan Szulc Photography

The hallaca represents Venezuela’s mestizo heritage. Cooking in a banana
leaf was a technique brought by African slaves. When talking about hallacas in
Venezuela everyone will say “Las mejores hallacas son las de mi mamá” which
translates to “my mom makes the best hallacas”.

Ready to eat!

The Hallaca by Ryan Szulc Photography

The hallacas is usually serve with Pan de Jamon [ham bread] Ensalada de
[chicken salad] Torta Navideña and Ponche Crema [eggnog].

Pan de Jamon with chicken salad.

I am offering 3 to 7 courses tasting menus of these tasty Venezuelan delights from $35 to $75 per person.

Call or email me if you are interested on having a Venezuelan dinner on
this Holiday season.

Yours, celebrating  food and culture.


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*Spanish for: "Mmm. Wow. That's good!"