GLOBAL ECONOMY

Venezuela 's Christmas Tamale Tradition Hit By Inflation
While tamales are common throughout Mexico, Central America and parts of South America, the Venezuelan variant stands out for its mixture of European, indigenous and African flavors that reflect the nation's multicultural roots.
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In this Nov. 23, 2013 photo, a woman holds a plate with a corn dough tamale known as hallaca, at a Christmas fair in a state-owned market in Caracas, Venezuela. The country's most-enduring Christmas traditions: the gathering of family to prepare hallacas, is under threat from the nationĂ¢s grinding economic crisis. With inflation near a two-decade high of 54 percent, prices for many of the treat's trademark ingredients have skyrocketed beyond the reach of many family budgets. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
(AP2013)

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This Nov. 23, 2013 photo shows the inner ingredients of a hallaca, a corn dough tamale, during its preparation at a Christmas fair in a state-owned market in Caracas, Venezuela. Green olives, raisins and capers provide savory accents before the creation is wrapped in dried plantain leaves popular in Africa cuisine, tied in a rectangle and cooked in boiling water. Its not clear how the hallaca came about. One popular version holds that it arose during colonial times when, around Christmas, slaves would collect food scraps left by plantation owners and use them to spice up their daily diet of cornmeal dough. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
(AP2013)

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In this Nov. 23, 2013 photo, people line up to purchase the ingredients for the corn dough tamale known as hallaca at a Christmas fair in a state-owned market in Caracas, Venezuela. So popular is the dish now around this time of year that President Nicolas Maduro is stepping up efforts to guarantee Venezuelans that theyll find the necessary ingredients, many of them imported, and that their wallets wont be emptied. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
(AP2013)

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In this Nov. 23, 2013 photo, a chef demonstrates how corn dough tamales known as hallacas are prepared, at a Christmas fair in a state-owned market in Caracas, Venezuela. The country's most-enduring Christmas traditions: the gathering of family to prepare hallacas, is under threat from the nations grinding economic crisis. With inflation near a two-decade high of 54 percent, prices for many of the treat's trademark ingredients have skyrocketed beyond the reach of many family budgets. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
(AP2013)

Venezuela_Pricey_Tamale__2_

In this Nov. 23, 2013 photo, a chef demonstrates how corn dough tamales known as hallacas are prepared, at a Christmas fair in a state-owned market in Caracas, Venezuela. Green olives, raisins and capers provide savory accents before the creation is wrapped in dried plantain leaves popular in Africa cuisine, tied in a rectangle and cooked in boiling water. Its not clear how the hallaca came about. One popular version holds that it arose during colonial times when, around Christmas, slaves would collect food scraps left by plantation owners and use them to spice up their daily diet of cornmeal dough. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
(AP2013)

Venezuela_Pricey_Tamale__3_

In this Nov. 23, 2013 photo, hallacas, corn dough tamales wrapped in dried plantain, boil at a Christmas fair in a state-owned market in Caracas, Venezuela. While tamales are common throughout Mexico, Central America and parts of South America, the Venezuelan variant stands out for its mixture of European, indigenous and African flavors that reflect the nations multicultural roots. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
(AP2013)

Venezuela 's Christmas Tamale Tradition Hit By Inflation

While tamales are common throughout Mexico, Central America and parts of South America, the Venezuelan variant stands out for its mixture of European, indigenous and African flavors that reflect the nation's multicultural roots.

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