A perfectly wrapped Venezuelan Christmas tradition in San Antonio

Venezuelan family spreads holiday cheer through traditional food

SAN ANTONIO – The best way Venezuelans spread Christmas cheer is prepping veggies and meats to smear. Although thousands of miles away from home, Venezuelans share their most festive holiday tradition wrapped in a plate on the dinner table: hallacas.

Hallacas vary in each region of the country but are Venezuela’s traditional tamales stuffed with a variety of meats and vegetables.

“An hallaca is made with corn flour and inside we fill it with pork, chicken and a special meat,” Falcón said.

Families form an assembly line at the table to stuff the corn dough with a meat stew, onions, red peppers, capers, raisins and olives.

Each hallaca is wrapped in a plantain leave and tied with a string. The Venezuelan tamales are then steamed for at least an hour.

Hallacas: A Venezuelan Christmas tradition

Venezuelan and Guayoyos Food Truck owner, Harlan Falcón said hallacas can be, at minimum, a 72-hour family affair.

“An hallaca is the main plate for Christmas dinner,” Falcón said. “Believe me, they are so delicious. We can eat them everyday.”

Falcón calls hallacas a work of art that his family takes pride in.

“You know what the principal ingredient of Christmas hallacas is? Love. We prepared (it) together with love,” Falcón said.

This year, Guayoyos began selling the Venezuelan dish ahead of Thanksgiving for $5 a piece.

Guayoyos will continue to sell hallacas throughout the holiday season. Customers can also pre-order hallacas through the food truck’s Facebook page.

About the Author

Alicia Barrera is a KSAT 12 News reporter and anchor. She is also a co-host of the streaming show KSAT News Now. Alicia is a first-generation Mexican-American, fluent in both Spanish and English with a bachelor's degree from Our Lady of the Lake University. She enjoys reading books, traveling solo across Mexico and spending time with family.

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