Venezuela, Facing Food Deficit, Prepares World’s Biggest Soup

In Venezuela you have to be lucky if you want to buy milk at any price. The government will tell you, “the extreme right, France, USA, Spain, China, blah, blah,  …. well, anybody but them.

By Matthew Walter

Sept. 14 (Bloomberg) — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez plans to
serve up the biggest pot of soup in history tomorrow to feed more
than 60,000 people as the country faces shortages of basic foods
including milk and eggs.

The government will close down the Avenida Bolivar in downtown
Caracas to cook a massive “sancocho,” a traditional stew of beef,
chicken, vegetables and potatoes, in a 15,000- liter (3,958-gallon)
pot.

“It’s going to break the Guinness record,” said Rafael Oropeza, the
country’s nourishment minister, in comments broadcast today by state
television. “There’s enough to celebrate with the family and with
all of the citizens that want to participate.”

The event will commemorate the third anniversary of the creation of
the foods ministry, as the government tries to address food shortages
amid a surge in consumer demand. Demand for meat, flour and cooking
oil has outstripped supply this year in Venezuela, helping push the
country’s inflation rate to 15.9 percent, the highest in Latin
America.

The government will also hold its biggest ever state- sponsored open
market in downtown Caracas tomorrow. The so- called “mega-mercado”
will have 150 booths offering groceries at discount prices, according
to the information ministry.

The current Guinness record for the biggest soup was set in Durango,
Mexico in July, with a 5,045-liter pot chili-beef soup, according to
the record authority’s Web site.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Walter in Caracas at
mwalter4@bloomberg.net

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