Venezuelan Empanadas in Galway

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“All our dreams can come true, if we have a courage to pursue them”

Ana makes traditional Venezuelan empanadas at Galway Fresh Market, each Saturday. In addition to delicious food, she always gives sunny smile to the people. The first time I met her was two years ago when my sister and my niece visited me. We were contented that we found terrific food on the street, also gluten-free. My niece, who can not eat gluten was very happy that she could have together with the same food in the middle of the city.

Organic Food

EMPANADAS – they are medium-sized dumplings made from corn flour, stuffed with minced beef, or white cheese or sometimes vegetables. Ana introduced veggie filling especially for vegetarians and she also changes white cheese for white cheddar.

–    For me is very important to keep quality in my food. I don’t put chemical preservatives and enhancers. My food is total ORGANIC, made only from natural things.

– Ana says.

Step by step to realize the dreams

Ana’s stall at the fresh market is the big step to make her dream come true. Always when we go for our dreams, we need to be patient and keep going because all points during the journey are meaningful, develop us, give us the courage and bring great people.

–    I finished my diploma at NUIG and I was looking for a job, after time I decided to open my own little business. When I was living in Venezuela the food was always my hobby, here I made it my job.

-Ana says.

In 2010 she got a licence for the Sunday at the fresh market, but this is not so busy day at the market in Galway, however, Ana accepted the opportunity and started her idea of making food, at first AREPAS (kind of tiny tortilla) and finally EMPANADAS.  She was patient and after four years got a licence for Saturday, which is a very busy day at Galway market.

Ana doesn’t stop learning. In 2015 she did a cookery course, then she also got a job as a chef at Montessori Creche in Galway.

Family passion

Her empanadas came from a family passion for food and cooking and they are the first Venezuelan food in Galway, as well.

-Three sauces, which I make for empanadas are representatives of my family:

Coriander souse – very popular in Venezuela. The older brother taught me how to make this sauce.

Mayo and parsley sauce – my younger son showed me how to do it.

Chilli souse – it is a speciality of my mother.

In Venezuela, every place has different sauces for empanadas, but those threes are the most popular.

Happy Customers

Today Ana has loyal and amazing customers of various ages. One boy, Marvin started to visit her at the market when he was six months old, now he is three and he still comes with his parents but he can choose empanadas exactly, which he likes.

I have also been able to do all this, thanks to the wonderful people.

-Ana emphasizes.

They have supported and helped me unconditionally: my son, my friends, and especially the person who took me with all my things to the market every Saturday – Jack, he is an Irish Angel. I’m very grateful to all of them!

The next step of her dreams is to open a little coffee shop with her own food. Now she is really close to makes it. I  believe in this strongly because Ana kept her passion for so many years, and she has many wonderful people around and her EMPANADAS are simply delicious. If you didn’t try yet, come to the fresh market on Saturday, it will make your day, with sure. I recommend especially coriander sauce, in which I fell in love: coriander, garlic, lemon juice, salt.

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