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 the 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 Cuisines.
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. Be sure to visit our Venezuelan Local Food tab to learn more about the local vegan options available in local restaurants.
Tofu and soy milk can be found at the Chinese market on given days (try Sundays), find our Vegan Snacks and Stores tab to learn more.
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! Make sure to check our Product Availability tab, to get a better idea of what you should bring with you.
Although you could get by with English at some places, if you plan to travel the country we highly recommend that you sharpen up your Vegan Lingo in Spanish, so you can better communicate your vegan needs.
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