Tequeños are Venezuelan bread sticks that consist of queso blanco (fresh cheese) in the middle, and are fried till they become crispy. A popular meal or snack in Venezuela, they can be eaten for breakfast, as a side appetizer or as a snack food. They are also commonly served at parties and weddings.
There are several variations of Tequeños, while some are prepared using different varieties of cheese, many people also make it using sweet fillings such as chocolate or guava. However, salty white cheeses are often widely consumed.
Origin & Cultural Significance
It is believed that the dish is named after Los Teques, the capital city of the state of Miranda. As well as Venezuela, tequeños are also widely enjoyed in many regions of Latin America due to how easy they are to prepare.
- Semi-hard queso blanco (white cheese) - 1lb
- All-purpose flour - 2 cups
- Butter - 5 tbsp
- Egg - 1
- Salt - ½ tsp
- Sugar - 2 tbsp
- Cold water – 4-5 tbsp
- Corn oil - 4 cups
- Begin by preparing the cheese by cutting it into 3/4 inch wide by 2 3/4-inch-long strips.
- Next, take the flour and place it on a large flat counter. Make a hole in the centre. Now, take an egg and some butter and throw both ingredients in the hole. Combine well.
- It’s time to take a small bowl and add salt, sugar and cold water to it. Mix all the ingredients well. Now, gently pour this mixture into the hole created in the flour. Mix all of the ingredients with your bare hands, making sure to keep kneading until the dough is no longer sticky.
- Once done, shape the prepared dough into a ball and allow it to rest for approximately 1/2 hour at room temperature.
- On a clean, flat surface, spread the flour.
- After 1/2 hour, place the dough ball on the floured surface and roll it into a square. The square should be about 1/8 inch thick.
- Now, take a sharp knife and cut the dough into long, even strips. Make sure to keep cutting until you have one strip for every piece of cheese.
- When ready, take a dough strip and place a portion of the cheese at one end of the strip. Roll it up until you find it properly wrapped in the dough. Keep in mind to close the open edges, if there are any. It helps to completely seal the cheese in the dough, preventing it from leaking out when it is fried. Repeat the same process with the remaining cheese pieces.
- Take a frying pan and add oil to it. Over a high flame, heat the oil and once the oil is hot, reduce the heat to a medium setting. Cautiously, fry the tequeños until they turn golden brown and become crispy.
- While taking the tequeños off the oil, remember to place them on paper towels first. It’ll help absorb any excess oil, and voila!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 434Total Fat: 42gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 31gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 196mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 5g