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Venezuela: El Carrito food truck

May 16, 2019

Venezuelan Sharon Schael spent years as a DJ before she swapped the decks for a fry pan and started to sell traditional arepa street snacks — cornbread pockets filled with meat or beans — in her Berlin food truck.

Food truck El Carrito in Berlin (Photo: Lena Ganssmann)
Image: Lena Ganssmann

Planet Berlin: Sharon Schael's street food

On Sunday morning, after opening her food truck El Carrito at Mauerpark, the first thing Sharon Schael does is turn up the reggae. "It puts people in a good mood," says the Venezuelan proprietor. Later in the day, she switches to salsa and she especially loves it when people dance. It's the melding of two worlds, something that plays an important role in her life. After all, back in Venezuela, Sharon Schael was a well-known DJ. 

That was before she came to Berlin to try out something new, first opening her food truck and then the seasonal street food kiosk La Casita at Treptower Hafen. Sharon Schael prepares a dish known as a popular street food in Venezuela and Columbia: arepas, or cornbread pockets filled with beef, chicken, or beans. 

Her truck offers five different varieties. "I make traditional food with my very own touches and signature flavors," explains Sharon Schael. A long series of journeys brought her to Berlin ten years ago. Following the attempted coup in Venezuela in 2002, she was afraid. "I was crying every day while watching my country fall apart," she remembers.

Exile in Berlin

When she was presented with the opportunity to leave, she spent two years working as a DJ in Mexico and another four spinning tracks in Spain. Finally, she was drawn to visit Berlin. She had heard a lot of good things about the city from friends – about the music scene and the nightlife there. "I had a certain feeling – you could call it intuition." But she stopped working as a DJ in Berlin after a few years because she'd had enough of the nightlife. "It had always been my dream to open a café," shares Sharon Schael. She had a very specific vision in mind of a scene in Venezuela: a jungle with waterfalls located directly on the coast. That dream will have to wait. But her food truck, which is painted with bombastic palm trees and decorated with the female mascot of the familiar 'Harina P.A.N.' cornmeal brand, always keeps her close to home.

Author: Sascha Rettig

Gleimstr. 55
10437 Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg

Puschkinallee 15
12435 Berlin-Treptow