What is Arepa and why you want to taste one
Arepas are called Latin American sandwiches made of corn and stuffed with various fillings. There are many different kinds of them in Venezuela. It varies from one region to another. We have prepared a short guide which tells you more about this famous Venezuelan dish.
The origin of Arepa — Venezuelan or Colombian dish?
Have you wondered where they come from? This is quite tricky question as there are many Latin American countries that love to eat this cornmeal cake. You can taste them in Panama, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Colombia and Venezuela. Nevertheless, there are always fights between Colombians and Venezuelans about the origin of Arepa. So Venezuelans or Colombians? The homeland of this specialty is Venezuela. Arepas have been commonly eaten since the time of indigenous tribes across Venezuela and they have not lost its popularity nowadays.
Why are Arepas called Arepas?
The name Arepa comes from the native word Erepa which referred to a bread made from corn flour and was commonly eaten among indigenous tribes in Venezuela ages ago. This bread was very popular, therefore, the story of Arepas began. It used to be a daily bread whose recipe was passed from one generation to another. Venezuelans had eaten it every day — for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Since 1950s, Venezuelans started to fill Arepas with different things. But let´s talk about it a bit later.
What are these sandwiches made of?
Arepas are flat cake which are made of pre-cooked corn flour (Harina P.A.N), water and pinch of salt. You have to mix it well until the consistency is solid. Then you create a little cake from the dough and grill it or fry it. Grilling makes the Arepa to be super crunchy and soft. The cake is then cut lengthwise and filled with a delicious filling. You can put anything inside of it as you like — any meat, vegetables and cheese. Because of that, there is no wonder why Arepas are called the Venezuelan significant sandwiches. They can be big, small or bite size. The most popular of them is Arepa Reina Pepiada (chicken salad with avocado), Arepa Pernil (pulled pork, tomatoes and avocado) and Arepa Catira (chicken with sofrito sauce and gouda cheese).
Reina Pepiada is a type of Arepa which is stuffed with chicken salad and avocado. The origins of this sandwich date back to the brothers Hernandez who established the first Arepas place in Caracas. Their mother created this recipe and named it after the beautiful queen Susan Dujim (the first South American Miss World in 1955). Reina Pepiada means spotted queen.
If you don´t eat meat, do not worry. We got something for you as well. Arepa Domino is a great choice for vegetarians. The corn cake is filled with black beans and sprinkled with cheese. Therefore it is called domino. This sandwich is one of our favorites because the melted cheese and freshly cooked beans makes you to eat more and more.
Arepa Pernil is a great choice for all meat lovers. It is filled with juicy polled pork, sliced tomatoes, avocado and cilantro. The meat has a great flavor which you will just love it. Sometimes Arepa Pernil is called the most significant Venezuelan sandwich.
Arepa Pelu’a is another option how to cheer your sandwich. It is filled with shredded steak and cheddar cheese. The meat is cooked in sofrito sauce which consist of red bell peppers, onions, tomatoes and a few spices. The combination of juicy meat and delicious sauce is so delicious.
Which Arepa do you like the best? Where do you think the best Arepas are made in Venezuela? Let us know your favorite one in the comments below.
— — — — — -