Arepas – The simplicity of its production process and the infinite possibilities of its filling have made this dish one of the most sought after in Latin America.
Arepas are, without a doubt, one of the most acclaimed delicacies in the gastronomic culture of Latin America. Its consumption is undoubtedly widespread in different countries in this part of the continent, such as Colombia or Panama, places where the dish has become a symbol, gaining great popularity both at breakfast, lunch or dinner. It is for this reason that it is common to confuse the origin of arepas, which according to history, come from Venezuela.
What are arepas?
Arepas, whose name also refers to luck, are cakes with oval or rounded shapes that can include practically any type of food inside.
Arepas could perfectly be compared with other products deeply rooted in other cultures, such as sandwiches in Spain; sandwiches in the UK or North American countries; the famous Kebab from the Middle East; or the irresistible Mexican burritos.
The objectives of all these foods are based around the same purpose: to get a dish that is easy to cook, tasty, combinable with almost any type of accompanying product, and very useful and comfortable when it comes to having to eat out.
The dough for these delicacies is made from corn and flour, which, in turn, makes arepas an easy food to find and cook.
For reasons of care and well-being, the trend of consuming grilled arepas is increasingly widespread, although these are also often fried, achieving a delicious flavor.
Ingredients needed to cook arepas
To prepare your dough or base, it is only necessary to have very simple, affordable products that are easy to find in any supermarket.
To cook arepas for three people, for example, 250 milliliters of warm water, 30 milliliters of oil, 30 grams of butter, 150 grams of cornmeal, and a little salt would suffice.
The arepas, step by step
It is perhaps the simplicity of its production process that has made arepas over time one of the most popular foods in all of Latin America.
The steps to make your base are as follows:
- Once all the ingredients are mixed, they should be kneaded and left to rest for about ten minutes.
- The dough has to be divided into many parts, resulting in balls a little smaller than a tennis ball.
- After separation, each ball of dough must be squashed, adapting it to the oval or rounded shape of the traditional arepa.
- Each piece of crushed dough should be fried in a frying pan with little oil for about five minutes.
- Once cooked, it is necessary to make an opening in each arepa to introduce the chosen filling.
A dish to everyone’s taste
If there is something that characterizes arepas, it is that they are like colors… there are them for all tastes!
Its dough is so tasty, that there are even those who consume it daily without any filling. These are called ‘arepas widows’.
On the other hand, there are those who opt for the most complete options, such as the ‘arepa reina pepiada’, made up of chicken, avocado and mayonnaise; the ‘arepa sifrina’, which is added to ‘la pepiada’ grated chedar type cheese; or the ‘arepa with perico’, which includes a combination of egg, tomato and salt inside.
In addition, arepas are often consumed with ham and cheese, complements that make it ideal to start the day with a product that is easy to make and, at the same time, exquisite.
In short, arepas in all its versions are increasingly popular among gastronomy lovers (who opt for the most original options), and among those who seek simplicity and speed when preparing their dishes (which usually consume the arepas with less elaborate fillings).