6 Jun 2007

V is for vegan!

I was amazed to find a vegan recipe from venezuelaenezuela, astonishing, in Venezuela the advocados are as big as babies heads and vegan would be easy but it is very rare to meet vegetarians. I know more Muslims who are vegetarian or at least nearing vegeism than Venezuelans.

Originally hallacas of course contained eggs, meat or whatever the slaves could find off of the master's table.

The story is interesting and I guess it reflects the fact that the elite in Venezuela is rooted in some bad history!

Hallacas (Venezuela)
Mayela Zamora - Oxford, UK

Recipe for 20 hallacas (pronounced AH-JAC-KA).
Requires 2 days of advanced preparation.

The hallaca is the main Venezuelan Christmas dinner dish. It was created by the slaves during the colony times. They put the left-overs of their master's Christmas festivities in a bit of cornmeal dough, wrapped this with banana leaves and cooked to mix the flavors. As many things in my country, the hallaca has the influence of three cultures, the white one (European ingredients like raisins, nuts and olives), the native one (the corn meal colored with onoto seeds), and the black one (banana leaves used to cook the food). The original hallaca is made with meat (pork, poultry, beef, lard, crisp pork rind, etc) and boiled eggs. The hallaca tastes better once it has cooled. It requires hours of preparation, but it is usually prepared by the whole family. Its preparation is a celebration by itself. Music and drinks make up the festive atmosphere. Mothers nagging children as they steal bits of fillings from the table, and the guys complaining of being relegated to the leaf cleaning and last minute shopping are typical during the hallaca making party.

Please note: the banana leaves are not intended to be eaten, they are just for cooking!

Read the rest here

1 comment:

Sunshine Mama said...

I am the only vegetarian in a large Venezuelan family. Thanks for sharing your recipe. We will be spending Christmas Eve making Hallacas. I will be bringing my vegetarian filling this year and after many years of so-so vegetarian hallacas (made by my in-laws, who can't understand why anyone wouldn't eat meat), I am excited to try a tested recipe.

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