This house will consider the proposition: if you’re Venezuelan and you did not have a cachito and chicha for breakfast at your nearest panaderia, you’re the reason why aliens won’t talk to us.

People ask me what I love about Venezuela…it’s simple. Chicha, people. Chicha!

It’s the thing that threads the best times together. Walking home from school, there was a chichero on every corner. When Ricardo and I got married in Baruta we had two large chichas at la plaza.

If you haven’t been lucky enough to try Venezuelan chicha (no, Peruvian chicha doesn’t count you beast!), it’s a white drink made of a thick paste of rice and milk mixed with some other -questionable- ingredients.

It’s thick, but not quite as thick as a milkshake. It’s sweet, but not overly sugary, unless of course you want to put some condensed milk on top. It’s creamy, it can feel like drinking a watery pudding; and also refreshing, almost like made in heaven – with calories made in hell (200-250 cals per cup).

And there is more: some chicheros have extra-large chichas, served in potes de arroz chino (a 1 lt container), and it’s socially acceptable to put a straw on that bucket-sized cup and drink it as you walk. Need I say more?

Rumor has it that this is not entirely our invention. Some online vendepatrias apparently want to peddle the crazy idea that it’s our version of Spanish horchata – but really, who cares where chicha comes from?

Just drink it and tell us who is your favorite chichero in town? After all, the post-oil world looms. Perhaps once we spot the best of the best chicha criolla, we can pitch in and create a chicha-pipe from Venezuela, our transition to a more sustainable low-carbon, high-calorie future.

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