Due to its location in the world, its diversity of industrial resources and the cultural diversity of the Venezuelan people, Venezuelan cuisine often varies greatly from one region to another. Its cuisine, traditional as well as modern, is influenced by indigenous peoples and its European ancestry (Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and French), and is also influenced by African and Native American traditions. Food staples include corn, rice, plantain, yams, beans and several meats. Potatoes, tomatoes, onions, eggplants, squashes and zucchini are also common sides in the Venezuelan diet.
In the eastern states (Oriente), south-eastern states (Guayana), and northern states (Caribe), there is a wide gamut of fresh and saltwater fish, seafood and crustaceans. Tubers such as potato and yam are abundant. Starchy foods such as corn, rice and pasta (Venezuelans are the second highest pasta consumers in the world, after Italy) are likewise popular. Fresh produce includes lettuce, tomatoes and plantains.
The preferred meats in western states (occidente) include goat (usually prepared with tomato) and rabbit. There is also extensive use of plantains and a variety of cheeses. Dishes are influenced by the local tribes as well as by Colombian cuisine.
The Andean region is marked by potatoes (other tubers), wheat, beef, lamb and chicken. There is not much fish because the region does not have a coastline. One exception is trout, which is raised on fish farms. Dishes in this region show European and native Andean peoples' influences.