Hallacas or Hayacas

True Venezuelan “Tamal” Recipe

Hallacas are what we call tamale in many other Spanish speaking countries. They have different fillings from the typical tamale, for example the hallaca recipe calls for capers, raisings and “encurtidos” which are pickled vegetables.

Linda Bladholm talks in her book “Latin & Caribbean Stores Demystified” about the “hallaquitas,” which are “small tamales made from fresh creamed corn, either plain or stuffed with ground pork or peppers.”

A Bit of History About the Hallacas

Adolfo Ernst tells us that the word hallaca appears to have evolved from the indigenous “Guarani” tongue. Many think that
the word “ayuaca,” which means mixed things, evolved into “ayaca,” to become the term we know today as “Hayaca” or “hallaca.”

Role of the Hallacas in Cultural Life

Like in many other Hispanic countries, in Venezuela making hallacas means business. The process is long and involves
many family members who reunite to make a huge batch to eat throughout “La Navidad.”

Families work like an assembly line. Children clean the leafs, mothers make the “guiso” and fillings, the youngest put them together and eldest tie them.


Hallacas Venezolanas
by jlastras


by jlastras

Another interesting fact is that making hallacas is customary in all social strata, regions of Venezuela and among people of all religious backgrounds.

When talking about the incredible master piece of the Venezuelan cuisine everybody says “Las mejores hallacas son las de mi mamá” wich means: my mom makes

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