Venezuelans usually prepare various sweets for different occasions of the year, with different fruits or vegetables, but what distinguishes each one is that they are all exquisite.
There are thousands of sweets all over the country, each region usually has one that characterizes them and those that we share as a country usually change their preparation depending on the region and even in the home where they are made, making each one unique and special.
This time we will talk about four of these sweets that are considered the most popular in the country. First, we have the "Dulce de lechosa".
It is a sweet that is traditionally prepared at Christmas or Easter, although it can be eaten at any time of the year.
These are cold pieces of milky milk dipped in almimbar. They are ideal to accompany it with simple cookies, “casabe” or also alone since its flavor is so divine that it does not need any accompaniment.
It is usually homemade or sold on the roads in the interior of the country.
The pulp of the green milky is used, cut in slices. The fruit is sprinkled with a little baking soda and left to stand for a few hours.
Afterwards, it is added to a large pot, along with panela (sugar), cloves and a little water, where it is left to cook slowly until the papaya crystallizes and softens. Once it cools down, it is ready to enjoy.
This preparation usually has a small variation depending on the region of the country where it is located.
Now let's talk about "La Catalina".
They are sweet cookies of soft texture and ideal for snack or breakfast. They are very traditional in the Venezuelan plains and in the interior of the country. They are usually sold by street vendors on the highways, in warehouses and sometimes in supermarkets.
They are very versatile since they can be eaten in different ways, either alone, cold, hot, with dark coffee, coffee with milk, cheese, juices or as desired.
Something very peculiar about these cookies is that they have very particular names throughout the country, their most common name is "Catalina", but they can also be recognized as "Paledonias" or "Cucas".
The ingredients are: "Melado de papelón", flour, ground cinnamon, butter, sodium bicarbonate, oil.
These can have variations in the flavors since they can be made with multiple fruits. The most consumed are the traditional ones that are made with only “papelón” and the most inervating ones are filled with milky, guava or banana.
It begins by heating the oven to 300 degrees. In a bowl, all the ingredients are added and mixed very well until a dough is obtained.
Make small balls with the dough and place them on a greased baking sheet in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let them cool and they are ready to share and enjoy.
As the third sweet we have the "Arroz con leche", let's talk a little bit about it.
It is a dessert that is made in different parts of the world but in Venezuela we usually eat it very often. It does not have much explanation because its name indicates what it is, it is a dish of rice cooked with sugar and milk. It can be eaten hot or cold and sometimes cinnamon, vanilla, or lemon zest are added.
It is perfect to eat it on those afternoons when we crave something sweet, but it is simple and quick to prepare, or simply as a sweet and different breakfast.
Its preparation is very simple, just cook the rice as usual with the variation of adding milk and sugar, you can also add cinnamon or vanilla at that moment. Later it can be served cold or hot, as you prefer, and decorate with more cinnamon or lemon zest.
And finally, we have the favorite of the people of the plains, the Naiboa.
It is two sheets of “casabe” that in the middle are joined with "melado de papelón". It is originally from Barlovento and the Venezuelan coasts. It is common to find it in the stalls of street vendors on the highways in the interior of the country.
They are usually bought to be eaten as a dessert while arriving at the destination or they are kept being eaten at home. They are perfect to eat with dark coffee, coffee with milk, cheese or alone.
The preparation of the classic Naiboas is simply to fill one slice of “casabe” with the "melado de papelon" and then place the other one on top.
Sometimes grated white cheese, anise seeds, coconut or brown sugar are added, but this varies according to the region of the country where it is purchased.
But how do you prepare the "Melado de papelón"? We start by putting water, "papelón" and cloves in a pot. Cook it for 1 or 2 minutes until the "papelón" dissolves, let it cool and it can be used for multiple recipes.
We hope you put into practice some of these recipes and try a piece of Venezuelan gastronomy.