Cachapas are a sweet corn and cheese hotcake dish, popular in Venezuela. Unlike typical batters, cachapas are not made entirely from grain flour such as corn meal. It is made from fresh corn kernels.
The fresh corn is mixed with a very small amount of corn flour and other ingredients like eggs, milk and sugar then processed in a blender into a thin batter.
The batter is cooked on a griddle, after which a thick slice of cheese is place on one half of the hotcake and folded over which cause the cheese to melt.
Cachapas are also cooked by wrapping the batter in leaves and boiling in water, giving them a similar appearance to tamales. These are called Cachapas de hoja or leaf cachapa. Cachapas are usually filled with Queso de Mano. Queso de Mano is a Venezuelan cheese which is similar to mozzarella.
While cachapas and arepas are often compared and they are somewhat similar, there are key differences between the two. Arepas are closer to bread and are made from flour not fresh corn like cachapas. After cooking, arepas are sliced then filled. Cachapas are folded over their cheese filling.
Origin & Cultural Significance
Cachapas originated in central Venezuela, long before the arrival of the Spaniards, where the indigenous people were cultivators of corn. It’s popularity still survives today and it is most commonly eaten for breakfast or as street food.
Venezuelan Cachapas Recipe
- Fresh corn, cut from the cob - 2 cups
- Eggs - 1
- Milk - 1/2 cup
- Masa harina - 5 tbsp
- Sugar - 1 tbsp
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Butter - 2 tbsp
- Fesh Queso de Mano or Mozzeralla, sliced - 8 oz.
- Place the fresh corn, egg, milk, corn flour, sugar, and salt in a blender and blend until a thick paste form.
- Let stand for about 10 minutes to allow the mixture to thicken. If your mixture is still too thin, add a little more masa harina or flour to thicken it.
- Preheat a large frying pan, over medium heat.
- When the pan is hot, grease it with some butter.
- Pour 1/3 cup of batter into the frying pan, making a circle around the pan.
- Cook for 4-5 minutes and flip with a spatula. Cook for 3 more minutes until the cachapa is golden brown.
- Place sliced cheese on one half of the cachapa and let it melt.
- Fold the other half over the cheese and spread some butter on top.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 206Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 847mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 2gSugar: 7gProtein: 8g