In the past, Venezuela was considered to be the richest country in south America due to large oil supplies, but for several years now the economy has been stuck in a hyper-inflationary-recession mode. Since salaries are not linked to rate of inflation, it is not surprising that a lot of Venezuelans can’t afford to buy most groceries in the stores. That is, after spending sometimes hours queuing on alternate days (according to your ID card number) for rationed goods. And though milk and meat are the most expensive goods and hardest to obtain (whereas vegetables and fruits are not rationed and easier to find) the number of vegans in Venezuela is low. People still believe they need meat to survive and they are willing to spend all their money on a small roast or more likely a block of cheese since dairy is also central to the LOCAL CUISINE.
If you are cooking for yourself you will probably find grains and beans that are re-sells. As far as your fruits and vegetables are concerned, it will be much easier since produce growers come from out of town to sell their goods in improvised mini-shops or at groceries. These often are organic, seasonal (only) and usually delicious. Mangoes are everywhere as are bananas and passion fruits. Grains like amaranth are locally grown and easy to come by and pick it yourself on the side of the roads. Tofu and soy milk can be found at the Chinese market on given days (try Sundays). Buying food to cook for the week entails searching all over town for goods that come and go, at ever increasing prices. So, all in all, depending on how much time and money you have on hand, you can determine the quality and variety of your food.
There are few vegan restaurants in Caracas and the others usually don’t cater to vegans except for the occasional dish. So, come to Venezuela prepared, with your own stocks, ready to hunt for your own food (pun not intended) with patience and determination to make the best of it, enjoying the great seasonal fruits and vegetables.
The Veganary © 2019. All rights reserved