Our core ingredients are corn, yuca, plantains and taro root. These are the four foundational ingredients of our food, and the basis of traditional Venezuelan cuisine.
Pica Pica (pee-kah pee-kah)
roughly translates as “A little bit of this, a little bit of that.” In Spanish, Picar has multiple meanings: hens peck; spicy; to eat little bits of different foods.
A corn pancake or crèpe made out of sweet yellow corn. You can feel the corn kernels in every bite (and in doing so, be transported back to earlier times, when the dough was made originally by pounding the corn kernels with a stone). In Venezuela the cachapa is usually eaten for breakfast and filled with white cheese. At Pica Pica, it is offered all day long since we find its sweetness is well-balanced with the different savory fillings available on our menu.
. . .a spicy pickled vinegar used throughout Venezuela and much of South America. Presentations vary, as in the Andres it has a dairy base (ajicero de leche) and looks milky. The most common version is what we serve in the glass condiment carafes on each table at Pica Pica. Not too spicy, it’s a great addition to soups or meat fillings if you are looking for a bit more brightness in flavors, or for your lost mojo. . . .
One of our most popular fillings, pabellón consists of shredded skirt steak, black beans and sweet, fried plantains. This filling is the national dish in Venezuela, since it is representative of the mestizaje (ethnic and cultural mix) of our heritage. The soft, stew-style shredded skirt steak represents the Spanish influence; the black beans and the plantains reflect our Afro-Caribbean roots; and the arepa is our daily bread, a contribution of our indigenous tribes. Any hint of spice is a signature of the Lopez family recipe book.
Better known in Venezuela as “La Reina Pepeada” or “SpotterCurvy Queen.” The story goes that this arepa filling was named after Susana Duijm, Miss World 1955, the first South American woman to ever hold the title. Pepeada refers to beautiful and voluptuous. This filling calls for slowly braised chicken, shredded and mixed with avocado, green bell pepper, Serrano peppers, red onions, cilantro, lime and a few other kickers that make this one of Pica Pica’s (and Venezuela’s!) top sellers.
A slow-cooked, oven-roasted pork shoulder. We pull it to make it easier to eat as a filling inside the arepa. Our flavors are typical Venezuelan, with sweet and citrus aromas. It is served with sliced tomatoes, avocado and garlic aioli. It’s proven to be one of Pica Pica’s best sellers!
Pica Pica’s signature hot sauce and an original Leopoldo López recipe. Venezuelan cookery doesn’t have strong traces of spicy hotness, but sometimes a little kick finds its way into stews and slow braised meats. Due to popular demand we decided to take the Pica’Pun out of the kitchen and share it with you on the table. Enjoy and be forewarned, pica mucho!
Sweet, ripe plantains sliced and fried(we wait until the skin is black, which means the inside is sweet). We serve sweet plantains as a side. But it is also a crucial ingredient inside the arepa and cachapa, as it balances the savory slow braised meats or grilled tofu with our various sauces and the crunch or sweetness of the corn pockets.