Tuesday, September 18, 2007

arepas

The arepa is for Venezuelans what the tortilla is for Mexicans. It's eaten with most meals. It is made from pre-cooked finely-ground corn meal, or "harina PAN" as it is commonly called. The simple dough recipe is 2 1/2 cups warm water, 2 cups corn flour, and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix until a soft dough forms. The dough is then formed into patties and either deep fried or browned in a pan and then baked. Our friend Ed makes them the latter way. He also adds cracked wheat to boost the fiber and nutritional value. I was surprised to find that I prefer the taste with the cracked wheat.

I asked Ed about adding egg and shredded cheese to the dough because that's how I had learned to make them. He said that was a "Caracas thing." He's from Maracaibo.


The arepa below has what looks like grill lines on it. Arepas can be grilled but are more commonly baked in the oven directly on the rack.

13 comments:

Karen ~ said...

so do you split one like a hamburger bun, or use two like bread in a sandwich?

Calandria said...

you split one like a hamburger bun.

athena said...

talking about tortillas, when we were in france, they sold tortillas (from a basque/spanish label i think) in the supermarkets and i swear they looked more like thick omlettes. are you familiar with the tortillas from the spanish side?

Auntie Lee said...

They are a lot like the Indian papadums. They are eaten all over south Asia. A flat bread or cracker which is eaten with just about every meal. Papadums are not corn based but lentil flour based but they both appear to be a form of unleven bread.
I always have tortillas and papadums in the freezer (now that I can buy tortillas here). I am also always interested in new recipes to use with them so thanks for the arepas recipe. I will try it.

ave said...

Arepas look like a dense cornmeal pancake. Does the bread taste kind of pancake-ish, or is it more like bread? JW asked me if J grew up eating more corn tortillas instead of the wheat and I said that I thought so. Is that right?

Calandria said...

Yes, J grew up eating corn tortillas. Most people in Mexico eat only corn tortillas. I don't like them much. But I love arepas! Arepas are not at all sweet like a pancake. There is a sweet cornmeal pancake in Venezuela called a cachapa. Arepas remind me a little of Mexican sopes if you've had those.

athena said...

i did a quick search on the internet and found the below info from wikipedia. i was wondering if you were familiar with this tortilla:

"In Spain and South America, a tortilla is a round, layered omelette (i.e., not folded over), most typically made with layers of eggs, very thinly sliced potatoes, such seasonings as the chef desires, and cooked in vegetable oil. It is usually served cold as an appetizer or bar snack."

Calandria said...

oh dear! I'm sorry, Athena! I had seen your tortilla question earlier but then forgot about it when I later had a chance to reply. I have eaten the Spanish tortillas which are nothing like the Mexican ones. They are more like omlettes. I think they're delicious, but I've never been successful at making one myself.

ML said...

The "Chamorro" word for bread is pan. Those Spanish--they do get around!

Auntie Lee said...

Before I could buy tortillas here I use to make a sort of corn flange but without the sugar and it worked out okay.

athena said...

haha, i'm persistent, ain't i. :)

Anonymous said...

I love arepas!!!!!!! I lived in Mcbo for 3 years & could never get enough of them!!!! Right now I'm in Minneapolis & am looking for Harina Pan... but not finding it... Fun to read your blog. - dawn.little@uscm.org

Erica said...

If you can't find Harina PAN locally, there are some latin grocers online that have it available to order. Try mylatinfood.com or amigofoods.com