Papelón or panela, the protagonist of many Venezuelan food

It is a very typical food from Venezuela. The main ingredient is sugar cane juice, which is produced in the form of panelas.

To produce these panelas, the sugar cane juice is cooked at extremely high temperatures, until it forms fairly dense molasses, then it is passed into cube-shaped molds where they are left to dry until they solidify or set.

The papelin is also known as panela, also known as piloncillo, raspadura, rapadura, sweet tie among other names.


What are the benefits?

The main function of the papelon is to sweeten desserts and drinks. In Venezuela, a variant of lemonade known as papelon con limon is very common.

It should be noted that here the name of panela is applied more than anything for the prismatic shape, and mainly in desserts such as rice with coconut, majarete, and golfeados, among others.

What nutritional benefits does it bring us?

The nutritional contribution they present is a very high content of carbohydrates, in addition to vitamins of group B, in addition to abundant minerals, among the most prominent are iron, magnesium, and copper. The H2O content is low.

They are attributed beneficial effectors in the treatment of colds, taking it as a hot drink with lemon, which hydrates and reduces discomfort.

When you drink the cold panela water, it is to obtain better physical performance and greater physical resistance.

Usually, athletes use it as a natural hydrating drink that refreshes and provides calories and mineral salts.

Unlike sugar (which is basically sucrose), panela is considered a food that also has significant contents of glucose, fructose, minerals, and vitamins such as ascorbic acid.



In current times, an attempt is made to substitute the traditional white sugar, panela emerges as a good alternative to take into account.

This is extracted from the sugar cane before it is refined so it still contains molasses and, with it, the nutrients of the food.

Lets see the most popular dishes that are made with papelon or panela:


It is a typical dessert of some type not only of Venezuela but of some other countries. It is prepared based on corn and is a kind of flan or cream.


It is very similar to a flan, more unlike that it does not contain eggs among its ingredients. The consistency is due to the cornmeal.


When it is made, coconut milk and cornflour are usually used.

This mixture is cooked over medium heat for about half an hour together with vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon chips, and/or a pinch of salt.

After that time, pour it into a mold sprinkling with ground cinnamon and let it cool until serving time.


It is a sweet bread typical of the gastronomy of Venezuela, originally from the Capital Region of the country, especially from the Altos Mirandinos.

The dough must be rolled into a shape similar to that of a snail, so it resembles the famous cinnamon rolls, and in its folds, it is filled with a mixture of grated paper and white cheese, flavored with aniseed in kind and baked.

The mixture of grated paper and white cheese flavored with anise in kind and baked.

Importance of papelón in Venezuelan cuisin

Papelón, or panela, is an integral ingredient in Venezuelan cuisine. It is unrefined cane sugar made by boiling sugarcane juice until it solidifies. This natural sweetener has a rich and complex flavor essential to many traditional Venezuelan dishes and beverages.

In Venezuelan cuisine, papelón is used in various ways, from sweet to savory dishes. In addition, it is a vital ingredient in many traditional Venezuelan beverages, including chicha and guarapo.

Chicha is a fermented drink made from maize or rice, while guarapo is a refreshing drink made from sugarcane juice and lime. Papelón is used to sweeten these drinks and give them a unique flavor.

In addition to being used in beverages, papelón is used in many sweet dishes. For example, it is a main ingredient in arroz con leche, a traditional rice pudding often served for dessert. Papelón is also used to make dulce de leche, a caramel-like sauce for top cakes and other desserts.

Papelón is also used in savory dishes, such as hallacas. Hallacas are a type of tamale made with a cornmeal dough and filled with a mixture of beef, chicken, pork, fish, vegetables, and spices. Papelón sweetens the filling, giving the dish a unique flavor.

One of the reasons that papelón is so important in Venezuelan cuisine is that it is a natural sweetener.


Unlike refined sugar, which is highly processed and contains no nutritional value, papelón is unrefined and retains many vitamins and minerals in the sugarcane juice. Therefore, it makes it a healthier alternative to refined sugar.

Another reason papelón is important in Venezuelan cuisine is that it is a vital part of its cultural heritage. Papelón has been used in Venezuelan cooking for centuries and deeply ingrained in the country’s food culture.

It is also essential to Venezuelan celebrations and festivals, such as Dia de los Muertos, where papelón is widely used to make sweet offerings to the dead.

Overall, papelón is a vital ingredient in Venezuelan cuisine, adding sweetness and complexity to various dishes and beverages. However, its importance goes beyond its flavor as it is also a natural and nutritious alternative to refined sugar and an essential part of Venezuela’s cultural heritage.

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