“Perico” is the name of traditional Venezuelan style scrambled eggs. It’s a simple dish, and something that many serve for breakfast or lunch.
The word “perico” is Spanish for “parrot,” and though I’m not quite sure what the relationship between the dish and the bird is, I often like to speculate that the name of this dish comes from the multitude of bright colors similar to the colorful feathers of the tropical birds, which are very common in Venezuela.
I am from Cabudare, a very small town on the outskirts of Barquisimeto, Venezuela. When I was a teenager, my family moved to Mexico City. But a few years ago, I decided to go back to reconnect with my roots. My flight landed in Caracas, the capital. My cousin Dany met me with open arms and with all the Venezuelan love I had been missing for years. Dany is a brilliant woman, a successful journalist, a creative writer, a fun mom, a traveler and a reading addict—our conversations are nearly unending in the best way, as we can spend hours talking to one another and drinking the best coffee in the world.
During my first night in Caracas, I dreamed about getting on a plane; while sitting on the plane in my dream, I began to smell the pleasant and familiar aroma of fried vegetables, eggs and fried plantains. It intensified until, suddenly, I woke up. I realized that a wonderful surprise was awaiting me outside of my room: my cousin had prepared breakfast! Perico, tajadas (fried plantain), arepas, fresh cheese, butter, and of course, Venezuelan coffee … My dream had come true!
After that delicious breakfast, Dany took a few days off from her busy schedule and we were able to spend a lot of time together. She brought me around the city and we rode in Caracas’ Cableway, which brought us to the Avila National Park “Warairarepano” (an Indigenous word that means “the place of the tapirs”).
From the Cableway we were able to see the entire city and the mountains that surround it. It was an incredible ride; the freshness of the air, the beauty of the mountains and the blue skies really made it so special. On top of the Avila mountain, we walked around the touristic area, where it was like a huge fair, with music, families, hikers, bikers, and tons of other stuff. I stopped at nearly all of the vendors, tasting all the traditional sweets, foods and drinks I hadn’t had in so many years!
I don’t see my cousin often, and I really miss her, but after that trip, every time I make perico I think of Dany. Life is funny that way … it’s not the extraordinary events of life that we miss the most when we are away, but the routinely simple things, like humble scrambled eggs.
Today, I would like to share with all of you this humble, but special, recipe from my beautiful homeland.
Venezuelan Perico (Venezuelan Style Scrambled Eggs)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
A pinch of onoto (also known as "achiote" or “Annato,” which can be found in a local international market)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1. In a bowl, mix eggs and a little bit of milk. Set aside.
2. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, sauté the onion and bell pepper until the onion is translucent.
3. Add tomatoes and let them cook, stirring slowly.
4. Once the tomatoes are cooked, add eggs to all ingredients and scramble. Add salt, pepper and onoto.
5. Serve warm.
If possible, combine it with slices of fried plantain, queso fresco and Venezuelan arepas!
Check more of our Venezuelan recipes like Pasticho, the venezuelan lasagna!