Arepa, arepa, arepa! It got to the point where I craved an arepa every day when in Venezuela. When in Rome. Here are some of the typical Venezuelan foods that I tried.
Arepa: a cornmeal bread used to splice and fill. New versions involve the use of beets and spices. There is a sweet version with cumin. Arepas can be fried or grilled. I liked running it through the toaster a few times.
Tequennos ( double en equals enya): mozzarella cheese sticks served with honey. A bar food.
Empanada: a dumpling usually made of cornmeal filled with shredded fish, cheese, meat, etc.
Cachapa: corn omelette filled with beans, cheese, meat, etc.
Chupe: soup, usually chicken broth with potatoes.
Perico: scrambled eggs with tomato and onion. Just like in Colombia.
Parilla: means grill and the Venezuelans love things on the grill.
Soup for breakfast: like the Colombians, the Venezuelans have a soup for breakfast but here it is primarily used as a hangover cure.
Paisa queso: a salty fresh cheese with large holes.
Hallaca (tamale): served mostly around Christmas. Also, at Christmastime, one can get “ham bread” which is a roulade bread made with ham, olives, and cheese.
Casabe: flat cassava bread.
Cassava (nachos): pronounces with the “vee” sound is a dish of nachos. Casabe with the “bee” sound is a flat bread.
Desechado “shredded”: they do love shredded meat on everything. It’s like meat is a vegetable topping, sort of the way cheese is on every salad in the U.S.
Fresas con crema: strawberries with cream. It’s a thing. Good too.
There are many other types of typical Venezuelan food. But, I mainly heard the mantra of arepas every time I asked about national foods.
As for drinks, the fresh juice is fantastic in Venezuela. As is the rum. The Santa Teresa and the Diplomatico brands were both good enough to drink neat, hold the coke (and as most of the Coke is made without sugar, that is practical). There is a form of sangria called “vino verano” or summer wine which is red wine mixed with a soft drink.