Puyero Is Serving Christmas Cheer, Venezuelan Style

Try their tamale-like hallacas and smoked ham Christmas bread through the holidays.

Hallacas | Photo courtesy of Puyero

The folks at Puyero are wrapping up some Venezuelan Christmas cheer.

For owners Gil and Simon Arends and Gil’s wife Manuela Villasmil, that means two things: hallacas (a traditional tamale-style dish wrapped in plantain leaves) and pan de jamón (Venezuelan Christmas bread). Pan de jamón is a slightly sweet yeast bread that’s been stuffed and swirled with smoked ham, raisins, and olives.

Pan de jamón | Photo courtesy of Puyero

In Venezuela, every family has its own special recipe for hallacas, which are made of a cornmeal dough stuffed with stewed meat. The mixture is bundled in plantain leaves, tied up in a neat little package, and boiled. Families will make hundreds to give to friends and neighbors every Christmas. Puyero’s hallacas — Manuela’s family recipe — are stuffed with stewed chicken, potatoes, raisins, and olives.

Try Puyero’s hallaca for just $9 each, or $10 for one hallaca with two slices of pan de jamón. You can also call at least 24 hours in advance to order a whole loaf of the Christmas bread for $10.

They’re also serving their special Andean hot chocolate — a thick, indulgent drink spiked with cinnamon — all winter long.