EVERY region of the world has its own street food. From the satay vendors of Indonesia, to the taco stands of Mexico. From pizza by the slice in Rome, to the spiced kefta of Lebanon.
In the markets and side streets of Venezuela and Colombia, you’ll find endless stalls frying small discs of dough to a crisp golden brown before filling them with all manner of delicious things. These are arepas, and you should be forewarned. One bite and you’ll be hooked.
Crunchy on the outside, cloying and rich in the middle. The dough is made from a traditional maize flour that has been cooked and redried, making it better able to absorb liquid. It’s also an unleavened recipe, and as such these little breads are unexpectedly dense.
The flour needed to make arepas is reasonably easy to come by – the most popular brand is PAN, whose bright yellow bags feature a decidedly pre-modern image of a housewife in a bright red headscarf. Different formulas exist for arepas, but all come back to a fairly simple rule of thumb – you need just a little more liquid than flour. Add som some salt for flavour, and just a little oil to give a smoothe smoother texture. The arepa dough sh should be allowed to sit, cove covered with a towel, for at least a half-hour before its cooked. While there are different cooking techniques in differen different parts of South Americ America (steaming, grillin grilling, barbecuing), fryin frying with a reasonable am amount of oil will alw always give the best re results. Sure, it might not be as healthy, but the flavour is completely worth it. You can fill the arepas with a anything you like, ju just think of it as an al alternative to tacos. Slo Slow-cooked pork, slaw slaw, avocado, cheese, egg, hot sauce. All these will w work. Or g go a little wild and add som some of each. After all, that’s th the Venezuelan way.
One bite, and you’ll be hooked.