October 14, 2022
In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law a week-long celebration of the contributions and influences Hispanic Americans have made on the culture and history of the United States. This observance was expanded from a week to a month by President Ronald Reagan in 1988, to begin on September 15th, which recognizes the start of the Mexican War for Independence. All US presidents since 1988 have given a Presidential Proclamation to mark this historic date.
Today, there are roughly 63 million Hispanics living in the United States, that make up 19% of the population. They come from diverse countries and bring with them unique and different cultures and cuisines.
At Gentry Park Senior Living, we will be recognizing those culinary contributions by celebrating the food of Venezuela. The culinary staff feel that a take on arepas, a staple in Venezuelan cuisine, is something we wanted to showcase. They are made from ground corn and have been modified and enjoyed for many years in that country.
Venezuela has a very rich history. The country was colonized by the Spanish in 1521 after being targeted by Christopher Columbus in 1498. After nearly 300 years of Spanish rule, the country finally broke from the empire. Venezuela has been heavily influenced by many Latin American countries, as well as Caribbean and Amazonian cultures.
While working on this dish, I learned that Venezuela’s cuisine is deeply rooted in Spanish, Italian, and French influences, yet also shaped by indigenous foods. They prepare a wide array of foods depending on the region of the country you are in. To the northern and eastern region of the country, fish and seafood are prevalent. Moving west there is more goat and rabbit on the menu, likely from Columbia influence along the border. In the Andes Mountains you will find more chicken, beef, and lamb on your table, along with certain areas farming trout. Venture into the Llanos Plains and you will find wild game meat being utilized. Across Venezuela though, corn is common among all regions.
We hope you enjoy our interpretation of these dishes and learn a little more about Venezuela in the process!
Gentry Park Senior Living in Bloomington, IN offers senior villas, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Recently renovated amenities include restaurant dining, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Conveniently located just south of E 3rd Street on SR 446, Gentry Park balances a peaceful, natural environment with quick access to the local shopping and attractions of greater Bloomington.
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