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.

24 COMMENTS

  1. I had two favorites: one right next to the Fuerzas Armadas, about a block away from the National Pantheon. I once drank one of those one-liter madnesses by myself. Good LORD I felt sick. And the next day I went and bought my big “normal” cup like it ain’t no thang.

    The other was one near the Chacao market. He was one of like three reasons I walked from Altamira to Chacaíto. Made the walk so much shorter.

  2. Mi Chichero is in the Mercado of Santa Rosalía in Maracaibo the spot is an institution here Chicha el tránsito no fancy new stuff is the same yellow Chicha that have been serve over 40 years.

  3. There is also the Andean chicha which is fermented , includes the juice from slices of pineapple and is sometimes made of barley, it is thicker and has a stronger twang than the rice based Chicha sold in Ccs , the kind of drink you sip or slurp but don’t dare gulp down to quench a thirst , its not as refreshing as the Ccs Chicha and can wallop your stomach …….. a homemade brew can be delicious , Mine, alas, was always a case of unrequited love with Andean chicha , I loved it but it didn’t love me back, hitting hard on my digestion.!!

    Everyone has his favourite Chicha spot in Ccs , mine used to be a Chicha stand a block from the El Universal building in central Ccs and the Chicha stand next to the Parish Church in El Hatillo …..!!

    Does anybody know if anything like our Ccs Chicha is drunk anywhere else in the Caribbean ??

    • Chicha in Bolivia is an alcoholic beverage brewed from corn, that reminds me of hard cider. It’s a good way to warm you up in the cool temperatures of the Altiplano, but beware. High altitudes will give you a horrible hangover. But no problem with digestion for me. Hangover, yes.

  4. I miss the cachitos, the chicha not so much – I liked jugo de guayaba more.

    Damn, it has been like … bit less thatn 20 years since I had my last cachito :/

  5. I used to buy them from some franchise called “Dr. Chichero” or something like that, but then I took an arrow to the… No, wait, then the economy was shoved down a chasm and now one of those costs an eye and a kidney D:

  6. In all honesty, it looks like a glass-full of cum. Not judging anybody who wouldn’t, but I’d be sick just being in the vicinity of your Chicha!

  7. When I was a kid and had to go to my mom’s work, she would always take me to have “sopa con arepa” in of those tiny luncheries in the Centro de Ccs. After that going back home came the dessert: a chicha from a guy at La Plaza el Venezolano. Those days were just the best, I had my mami for myself (4 siblings) and sopa y chicha!

  8. Las últimas tres chichas me las tome en la Plaza el Venezolano, después de frustrantes diligencias fallidas a la cede central del Banco de Venezuela para que aumentarán el límite de mi tarjeta “platino” de crédito que no daba ni para un combo en McDonalds. La chicha allí es excelente, recomiendo también una visita a la casa de Bolívar y la tienda de piñateria en la misma plaza. Por favor ignorar el misil de Chávez, la plaza y sus alrededores son agradables.

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