Considered as an icon of Colombian gastronomy, arepa is a fundamental part of the Colombian diet, it is usually consumed at breakfast, but it can be eaten at any time of the day as a part of a main food or as a snack.
The origin of the arepa is uncertain, since it was consumed by the aborigines in the present territories belonging to Colombia and Venezuela, they used to call “erepa” the corn bread with round shape. In spite of these two nations dispute their origin, the truth is that each culture has given an endless recipe that you can try and enjoy depending of the taste of your palate.
Types of Arepa
You can find more than 75 kinds of arepas which are distinguished by the type of dough, the way to cooking and the toppings. From a flat corn arepa without any addition to a filled arepa, with meat, chicken, eggs, cheese, sauces, vegetables, among others. In some Colombian regions it is more popular than others.
Here are some of the most popular kinds of arepas:
If there is a region where the arepa is essential and part of all daily meals, it is Antioquia! Deserving of the famous phrase “more paisa than the arepa” the paisas even decorate famous people with a necklace of arepas. This arepa is being characterized by being thin and is made from threshed corn, its preparation approaching that consumed by natives. It is a simple arepa without salt or any topping, varying only for its size.
If you prefer sweet over salty, we recommend trying the arepa boyacense. The department of Boyaca is the land of independence and freedom, since this territory was battle that opened the doors to sovereignty. Also known for its beautiful landscapes and gastronomic richness, of course they have their own recipe and version of arepa. They are made with pre cooked yellow corn flour, wheat flour, butter, curd (made from milk, it is softer type of cheese with less fat), milk, salt and panela.
Each region has their own arepa recipe. The department of Santander located in the northeast of the country, full of natural attractions offers a very particular and unique version. This arepa is made with corn, cassava and pork rinds! It is characterized by being thin and crispy.
Arepa de Choclo
If you enjoy the contrast between sweet and salty, this arepa is perfect for you. Made with sweet corn, milk, butter, panela, salt and cheese, there are those who enjoy eating it for breakfast or simply as a snack at any time of the day. There are very easy to prepare and enjoy with your favorite drink.
Arepa de Huevo
This delicious arepa is very famous on the Colombian coast, if you want to prepare it yourself you need to practice since it’s not very easy, but it worth trying. Unlike the other types of arepa, it must be fried so it needs a lot of oil, you can prepare it with corn flour or chopped corn and you will need eggs, salt and water. Due to the egg goes into the arepa, the success of this preparation is the precision when it is fried.
The arepa rellena has endless additions depending on your taste! The base is a white or yellow corn arepa and you can add as many ingredients as you like, among the popular ones are, chicken, meat, cheese, eggs, tuna, beans, avocado, tomato and sauces. This option is perfect for lunch or dinner.
Arepa con Jamón y Huevo
This kind of arepa can be included within the arepa rellena, but we decided to give it a special place since it is very popular in street sales in Bogotá. Without being more than an arepa filled with ham, eggs, and cheese, if you want it. It has been the breakfast of thousands of capitalists who due to the bumpy rhythm of he city decide to have breakfast on the way to work. You can find this delicious arepa in the corner of your house or your work or better yet prepare it yourself!
Valle del Cauca is home to the world capital of salsa, Santiago de Cali!, wherever you look at it, it has a lot of “sabor” and not only when dancing, it has a wide gastronomy among which the cholao, the lulada, the pandebono among many more stand out. Of course it offers its own version of arepa, the arepa valluna being similar to the arepa paisa, but a little thicker, it is prepared with corn, butter and grated cheese.
Where you can buy them?
You can buy the chilled arepas ready to grill or fry at supermarkets. If you prefer to buy the arepa ready to eat, you can go to neighborhood stores, coffee shops or street sales.
Since Bogotá is the city of all Colombians, you can find any type of arepa in the capital, dare to try and delight in our delicious cuisine and with this cultural icon.