People say all Venezuelans are born dancing and eating arepas, it is the perfect replacement for bread and depending on how you make your filling it can be your breakfast, lunch or dinner. Toasted on the outside and soft and rich on the inside they can be fried or grilled and then you can put them in the oven to toast some more, it’s a matter of how you prefer them. They are so popular that there are restaurants across the country called “Areperas”.
- The Venezuelan Arepa ranks first of the Best Breakfasts in the World, in a recently developed ranking by renowned Thrillist blog specializing in travel , international food and beverage.
This recipe makes 15 servings:
4 cups precooked corn flour (national brands: Harina Pan and Harina Juana )
1 teaspoon salt
6 cups water
In a mixing bowl add 1 teaspoon of salt and 4 cups of precooked corn flour. Mix and pour 6 cups water, let the flour absorb the liquid and work the dough until a good consistency.
With your hands grab a moderate amount with which you can make a ball and flatten slightly trying to form a kind of disk.
If you want to fry them preheat the oil and with appropriate utensils, put one or two arepa discs at a time, making sure they don’t touch each other. Continue until golden on each side, then remove them and put them on a surface with absorbent paper to remove excess oil.
And we are ready to eat!
Here is a short glossary of possible fillings. Bon Apetite!
Arepitas – Small fried arepas served as a starter to eat with nata (sour cream).
- Aguacate– Avocado
- Atun– Tuna salad with onions and a squeeze of lemon
- Caraotas negras– Black beans
- Carne mechada– Shredded beef
- Chicharron– Pork crackling, also known in UK as pork scratchings
- Chorizo– Spicy sausage
- Diablito– Devilled ham
- Domino– Black beans and grated white cheese
- Jamon– Ham
- Pata-pata– Black beans, yellow cheese and avocado
- Pelua– Shredded beef and grated yellow cheese
- Perico– Scrambled eggs cooked with chopped tomato and onion
- Pernil– Roast pork
- Pollo guisado– Chicken cooked in a sauce
- Popurri Criollo– Shredded beef, black beans and white cheese
- Queso– Cheese
- Queso de mano– Literally “hand cheese”, a traditionally-made soft white country cheese
- Queso Guayanes– Another soft white cheese
- Sifrina: Reina Pepiada (Chicken, avocado, mayonnaise) and Cheese.
- Reina Pepiada– A mix of shredded chicken, avocado, mayonnaise.
Guasacaca – Avocado sauce similiar to Mexican Guacamole but not as thick. Great for drizzling over arepas or empanadas.
Salsa picante – hot sauce. Salsa de Ajo – Garlic Sauce.