What’s That Wednesday: A Venezuelan Sweet Corn Pancake
Cachapa con Queso y Cochino Frito
3502 E. Washington Ave.
-Sweet corn pancake (cachapa) with queso de mano, a traditional Venezuelan cheese similar to queso fresco and resembles mozzarella
-Crispy pork (cochino frito) with house seasonings, grilled to start and then fried
-Nata (a cream sauce) and guasacaca (a green sauce with cilantro, onion, garlic, green pepper and a little bit of avocado), for dipping
To start, the guasacaca sauce is amazing. Get it with anything you order at this charming and authentic restaurant, which opened this summer and is Madison’s only Venezuelan eatery. The sauce goes especially well with the cachapa con queso, a tasty treat in its own right with just enough cheese inside to consider it comfort food but not too much to overwhelm you. Dipping each bite of the cachapa, which is made in-house, into both sauces adds flavor and texture. The crispy pork makes this dish a meal, but the real star is the cachapa. Order it with a Venezuelan beer, like a Polar, or a delicious fresh fruit juice.
In addition to the cuisine, the La Taguara staff is friendly and always willing to help navigate the menu as your order up at the counter. If unfamiliar with Venezuelan cuisine, try an arepa, whether it comes with your dish or you order it as a side. These doughy buns can come plain or filled with a number of ingredients—meats, cheese, vegetables—and are a staple of the Venezuelan diet.
What’s That Wednesday is a new madisonmagazine.com series in which we choose a food or drink item from the Madison area and break it down. Have an idea for a tasty drink or dish we should feature? Email or tweet your idea to @gmedquist using the #WhatsThat hashtag.