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Arepas, Venezuelan Staff of Life

Updated on February 24, 2015

Start with good Harina Pan

Arepas Venezolanas prepared by a Real Home Chef, Doña Alba de Quijada for Cooking Latino produced by Bersaida Vega.

Arepas Venezolanas Part 2

Arepa - the perfect vessel

To make the perfect arepa takes practice and a lot of heart. In Venezuela and Colombia you will find an expert in every home, because arepas - or corn cakes - are practically the cornerstone of family life, a beckoning to gather and feast. Arepas make the ideal breakfast, light lunch, or late night meal or snack. Their appearance is most like an English muffin or crumpet. Their flavor is mild, similar to the taste of hominy grits, a perfect complement to almost any filling. Their texture is heavenly, lightly crunchy outside, warm and fluffy inside. My adorable husband makes the most divine arepas. He says the secret is to have equal amounts of harina pan - a finely ground hominy flour - to water, starting with the water in a bowl and adding the flour gradually. Then, to get the right texture, he kneads the dough until in falls off cleanly without sticking to one's hands. To make each arepa, he grabs a fistful and rolls it lightly and then forms into a patty and places it on a hot griddle or pan (preferably cast iron), flipping over so that both sides are lightly crisp. The arepas are placed into a 350 degree oven until they get puffy, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cut open carefully, minding the steam. A lot of figure conscious Venezuelan women scoop out the doughy inside which male family members will happily commandeer to dip into their egg yolk or mix in with beans or carne mechada, savory shredded beef.

Take a look at some delicious ways to serve arepas, in videos featuring Real Home Chef, Doña Alba de Quijada, who also demonstrates how to made delicious carne mechada to go inside the arepas, and, an arepa pre-throwdown with Bobby Flay, who uses milk instead of water in his arepas. He faces off in a friendly way, with Maribel Araujo, and Executive Chef Ilse Parra of the Caracas Arepa Bar in New York City, so lots of great arepa advice! Arepas are one of the most versatile additions to your culinary repertoire. You can also make smaller arepitas as impressive party appetizers.

Arepas Venezolanas Part 3


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    • Guru-C profile image

      Cory Zacharia 7 years ago

      Thank you, BKCreative! That is one of the great pleasures of NYC. I'm from Brooklyn, too, and next time I'm there definitely plan to visit Caracas Arepa Bar. Maybe I'll see you there :) Have a great day!

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Well, I love love love hominy grits so I will love these and can make them.

      And thanks for listing the restaurants. How's this for luck? There is a Caracas Arepa Bar here in Brooklyn, New York - not too far from where I live. I can go there - have the real thing and eat until I pass out.

      Thanks so much for this. Grits are very popular for breakfast in the South and have become a favorite as I got older. Must get out and get some more. Even the white corm meal in the photo above is sold in my local supermarkets - I think I will try that brand. One thing about NYC - you can eat your way through every cuisine in the world.

      Will bookmark, rate up - and eat real soon!

    • Guru-C profile image

      Cory Zacharia 7 years ago

      Thank you for visiting, JaneA!

    • JaneA profile image

      JaneA 7 years ago from California

      So simple! Thanks for the recipe.