Saturday, April 3, 2010

☺Happy Easter and Happy Weekend! ♥

Easter weekend in Venezuela is usually spent at the beaches and other tourist spots of the country when you love in the capital. I, however, prefer to spend it in Caracas because the city becomes more tranquil with less people and you get a rest from the everyday hustle and bustle that can sometimes seem chaotic. There are many interesting traditions during this time of year that occur as well mostly because of the major Catholic influence on the society. Perhaps the most interesting of the traditions during Holy Week in Caracas is the Wednesday processions to the Basilica of Santa Teresa known as the veneration of el Nazareno de San Pablo. The faithful dress in purple robes and make promises to God as a sort of penitence or payment in exchange for that which they desire and are asking for whether it be the good health of a loved one or a better economic year.
Purple robes and rosaries for sale during Holy Week
photo from Medelhi's Blog.

Another thing that people in the area where my grandmother lives have as a tradition for Easter is the eating of an Empanada Gallega Sunday afternoon. Since there are many Spaniards and families of Spanish and Portuguese decent here in La Canderlaria, almost all of the tascas (spanish style bar-restaurants, similiar to pubs) make the dish especially for Holy Week and people often order the empanada gallega in advance so as to guarantee having one. I have to say that the empanadas gallegas really are delicious and I could probable eat some every day.

They are very easy to make and there are scores of recipes on the internet for making them. When we were living in Florida my mom made one after we watched Chef José Andrés prepare some on his show Made in Spain which aired on PBS. There are various ways to make this type of empanada, some make it with fish, others with chicken and I believe some even make it with meat (I personally like the chicken and tuna ones). Here is a peek at the show that we watched that day:

Jose Andres: Made in Spain from El Aderezo - Blog de Cocina on Vimeo.

Well, I hope this gives you a taste of what things are like here! When I get better organized I will write more and show you more as time goes by!

Cheers and Happy Easter!

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