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February 16, 2021

Venezuela is characterized by its wide and exquisite gastronomy, among which the multiple drinks that are made throughout the country stand out.

In recent years these have been modified, adapting to personal tastes but without losing their original essence. Let's talk a little about them.

Chicha

What is chicha?

It is a sweet drink that is generally prepared in an artisanal or homemade way. It is marketed in every corner of the country, distributed by street vendors called "chicheros" and it is even marketed industrially and locally.

What is the origin of chicha?

Chicha has diverse origins all over the world, especially in Latin America and Central America.

Venezuela is not the exception, the most commercialized chicha is “La Chicha Andina”, this is the one prepared by most street vendors and the favorite of Venezuelans.

“La Chicha Criolla” has a similar preparation to “La Chicha Andina” but it is not as popular as the previously mentioned. And lastly, we have “La Chicha de Pasta” which is originally from Paraguaná.

How is chicha prepared?

“La chicha Andina” is made with a base of white rice and cow's milk, these are mixed until obtaining the characteristic thick consistency, then served in a container and decorated with condensed milk, cinnamon, chocolate chips or colored.

“La Chicha Criolla” has the same preparation with the difference that the rice must go through a fermentation process. “La Chicha de Pasta”, as its name indicates, has a pasta base and is complemented with cow's milk, then the different toppings are added.

The Toddy

What is Toddy?

It is a chocolate milk drink; it can be eaten either hot or cold and it is the favorite of many Venezuelan children. It is usually consumed in the morning with breakfast or at snack time as a refreshing drink.

What is the origin of Toddy?

Toddy was founded in 1930 in Puerto Rico by Pedro Erasmo Santiago, who combined the characteristics of two drinks: whiskey punch (based on egg yolk, honey, cream and whiskey) and Caribe Ron punch (based on cocoa, molasses and rum).

In 1933, Pedro was authorized to market the product in Brazil and Colombia. In the 1940s, the production of Toddy began in Venezuela by the company La Venezuela Trading, which is currently managed by PepsiCO and Empresas Polar.

How is Toddy prepared?

This drink is sold in powdered form, which is mixed with cow's milk, either hot or cold. It can be served with a variety of salty or sweet foods, one of the favorites of Venezuelans is with empanadas or arepas.

The Ponche Crema

What is Ponche Crema?

It is an alcoholic drink made from sugar, ethyl alcohol and milk. It is traditionally consumed in the month of December during the Christmas.

What is the origin of Ponche Crema?

 There is no clear origin of this product, however in 1900 the chemist and perfumer Eliodoro González Poleo was the one who introduced this product to the market, through his own company "Licorería Central.

How do you prepare the cream punch?

The cream punch that is based on sugar, ethyl alcohol, condensed milk and eggs. Sometimes cinnamon or ground nutmeg is added.

For the preparation, add the milk, eggs and sugar in a blender, then cook over medium heat for a minute, until it thickens.

This mixture should be cooled for two hours. After this, this mixture will be added to the blender together with the ethyl alcohol, it is mixed for a few minutes and is ready to cool and drink.

 

Malt.

What is malt?

It is a soda that comes from barley but does not contain alcohol. It is ideal for hot days as it is very refreshing. It is the favorite of Venezuelans who accompany it with the traditional empanada.

How did malt originate?

Malt originated in Germany and in October 1948 began its production in the brewery plant of Polar companies, under the name of Malta Polar, since then there have been few variations of the product. It has become the favorite of Venezuelan children at snack time.

 

How is malt prepared?

This product is produced at industrial levels, but it can also be made at home with just a few ingredients, such as processed malt grains, water, molasses, brown sugar and yeast.

First, the malt grains and water should be placed in a pot. Increase the temperature until it reaches 150-170 degrees, this for at least half an hour. After this time, add the sugar.

When it is dissolved, remove from the fire and let it cool. Later the mixture is strained to eliminate the malt particles.

In a glass of water, add the yeast and dissolve it, then add it to the previous mixture. Now we have our malt ready to bottle and let it rest in a dark and dry place for at least 3 days, after that time it is ready to drink.