Thursday, September 16

Everything you need to know to celebrate the International Day of the Arepa with flavor


To commemorate the International Arepa Day we have consulted with Branly Coy, a renowned Venezuelan chef who is hyper-expert in this food of pre-Columbian origin, so that he can tell us about its origin, its preparation and the ingredients that best combine so that you can make them at home, in the absence of being able to go to Colombia and Venezuela to try them.

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In both countries, which they dispute their authorship without clarifying, a kind of pre-cooked circular and flattened cake is made from ground dry corn dough or corn flour. Only in Colombia there are already about 43 types of arepa. Even in the There is a Cartagena de Indias Festival, you can try all of them.

In Venezuela too there are several types of arepa. To name a few, those of ground corn (with the ground grains of already cooked corn), wheat (in the Andean region), sweet arepas and arepa of precooked corn. In Bolivia they are also of the same style and all of them are filled with a variety of ingredients to be eaten hot or cold, roasted or fried.

The arepas bear a certain similarity to the pupusas of Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador; with the gorditas and tortillas from Central America and Mexico, Ecuador and Panama. In Latin America in general it is a very popular food for breakfast, given its forcefulness.

The most emblematic Venezuelan arepas

So that you can emulate them at home, Branly Coy shares with us the most emblematic Venezuelan arepas; calculate the amount you want to add of each ingredient to your liking and enjoy its intense flavors, which do not eat anything bland there.

The widow

It is called a widow because it is the arepa that has been left without filling. It is perfect as a companion to meals, especially soups, roasts, grills, stews, sauces and to put creativity and culinary skills into practice or adapt it to your tastes. The arepa is like a blank canvas: you can add whatever you want.

The famous Queen Pepiada

Its name comes from the original recipe of Queen Pepiada and it is said that it was named in honor of Susana Duijim, the first Venezuelan to win the Miss World title in 1955.

It is a cold filling, with chicken breast boiled for an hour and shredded with the help of a spoon or fork. It is mixed with avocado and mayonnaise and, if you add yellow cheese (gouda type or similar) in a stick, it becomes a delicious “Sifrina”.

Pelua

It is very famous and as requested as the previous one, with a base of roasted arepa and stuffed with highly seasoned shredded beef and grated yellow cheese.

Catira

For Venezuelans, being catire or catira is the synonym of blond. In this case, this arepa is with shredded chicken, also quite seasoned, and with grated yellow cheese.

Pavilion Arepa

Pabellón is a typical dish and standard of Venezuelan cuisine, so it is not surprising that it serves as a filling in empanadas and arepas. The arepa de pabellón is made up of shredded beef, ripe plantain, black beans and grated white cheese.

The salt of the cheese mixed with the sweetness of the ripe bananas attacks the taste buds with an explosion of flavors that make it the perfect arepa.

Arepa with Perico

For starters, the parakeet is a sophisticated version of scrambled eggs that are eaten around the world. In the Latin American recipe, the eggs are scrambled together with the onion, tomatoes, red peppers and chives, cut into squares and previously fried.

In arepa, the parakeet is easier and faster to eat, since everything is inside the arepa instead of eating it separately on the plate. It is stuffed with parakeet, grated white cheese, avocado can also be added and, for the daring, slices of ripe plantain. A true flavor bomb.

Arepa Dominoes

Its name is inspired by the tiles of the traditional board game Dominoes. It is simple but delicious. Its filling contains black beans (black beans or canned beans) and llanero cheese (fresh Burgos type cheese) or hard white cheese. You can not miss the touch of butter spread at room temperature to eat this arepa.

Andean Arepa

The wheat arepa, flour arepa or Andean arepa is a variant native to the Venezuelan Andean states of Mérida, Táchira and Trujillo. For its preparation, the following ingredients are used: wheat flour, a little milk, eggs, butter, salt and sugar to taste (some variants replace sugar with cane panela).

Unlike the regular arepa, the wheat arepa is baked for approximately 12-15 minutes at 180ºC. It’s done when it’s golden in color and slightly puffy. In some cases, it is cooked in wood budare, a circular cast iron or clay plate.

Arepa Tumbarrancho

Iconic Arepa from the city of Maracaibo, it really is a bomb in flavor and calories, but it deserves the excess. A roasted and battered arepa in a tempura that, when fried, becomes crispy and then filled with mortadella, fried or soft white cheese, cabbage and tomato, and pork leg roasted for eight hours and shredded so that it is honeyed.

Where to eat them in Spain

We have asked trusted Venezuelans and Colombians where they go to eat arepas when they get nostalgic and they recommend these areperías:

If you know more, we would appreciate it if you share them in the comments.

How to prepare a common arepa

To make the dough for 10 arepas:

  1. Pour two and a half cups of water and a pinch of salt into a bowl and add two cups of precooked cornmeal (PAN) little by little until obtaining a uniform mixture.
  2. Work the dough with your hands while continuing to knead smoothly throughout the process, nothing compared to making bread, until it is well hydrated, smooth and homogeneous. It should be moist but not sticky. Correct with flour or water if necessary.
  3. Cover and let stand 10 minutes. Prepare a frying pan or griddle with a little oil. Divide the dough into 10 portions, depending on the desired size, making sure they are more or less equal.
  4. Form uniform balls with your hands – we can lightly grease them with oil to make it easier – and flatten gently. They should be like pancakes, with a finger thick, about 1.5 cm. They also don’t have to be perfect.
  5. Heat the pan and cook the arepas for about 8-10 minutes over medium heat on each side, letting them brown well.
  6. The only difficulty is that they are not raw inside, to avoid this, we can finish cooking them in the oven at 180ºC for about 10 minutes.

From “tostiarepas” to cured budare

If you like them and want to dedicate yourself to them more intensely, you have several articles that can facilitate the task. First a electric tostiarepas, which has taken as inspiration the classic “Venezuelan tostiarepas” to design this new version available in the European market.

Its great advantage is the presence of a non-stick layer, without the need for oil: a high-quality non-stick layer has been applied to the upper and lower plates, so that you do not have to use any type of oil so that the arepas do not stick. .

You can also buy a budare for arepas, if you want to make them old school style, like this GauchoGrillX Budare pre-cured for Arepas; It has a 7-year warranty and its surface is hand-cured with organic linseed and coconut oils. In addition, the surface is polished for greater non-stickiness. It cooks best over medium heat, as it heats up faster, more evenly. It is lighter than cast iron.

But if your thing is cast iron, then choose this Kitchen craft . It is a round, non-stick finished baking stone made of cast iron with dimensions of 27 cm in diameter and 6.5 mm in thickness.

* ConsumptionClaro’s team of journalists and experts rigorously and independently recommend products and services to our readers. Every time you buy through some links added to this text, eldiario.es receives a commission.

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