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Arepas 2.jpg
arepas on a street stall
Course Breakfast
Place of origin Colombia, Panama, Venezuela
Region or state Northern South America
Creator Timoto-Cuica people
Main ingredients corn flour (maize meal or flour)
Cookbook: Arepa  Media: Arepa

Arepa (Spanish pronunciation: [aˈɾepa]) is a type of food made of ground maize dough or cooked flour prominent in the cuisine of Colombia and Venezuela.[1][2] The native Timoto-Cuica people of the Andean region of western Venezuela are credited for inventing the arepa. It is eaten daily in those countries and can be served with accompaniments such as cheese (cuajada), avocado, or split to make sandwiches. Sizes, maize types, and added ingredients vary its preparation. Arepas can also be found in Panama, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago and the Canary Islands.[3][better source needed] It is similar in shape to the Mexican gordita and the Salvadoran pupusa.


The arepa is a flat, round, unleavened patty of soaked, ground kernels of maize, or—more frequently nowadays—maize meal or maize flour that can be grilled, baked, fried, boiled or steamed. The characteristics vary by color, flavor, size, and the food with which it may be stuffed, depending on the region. It can be topped or filled with meat, eggs, tomatoes, salad, cheese, shrimp, or fish depending on the meal.


The dough can be prepared two ways. The traditional, labor-intensive method requires the maize grains to be soaked, then peeled and ground in a large mortar known as a pilón. The pounding removes the pericarp and the seed germ, as only the endosperm of the maize seed is used to make the dough. The resulting mixture, known as mortared maize, or maíz pilado, was normally sold as dry grain to be boiled and ground into dough.

The most popular method today is to buy cooked arepa maizemeal or flour.[citation needed] The largest producer of precooked corn flour is Empresas Polar through the brand Harina P.A.N. The flour is mixed with water and salt, and occasionally oil, butter, eggs, and/or milk. Because the flour is already cooked, the blend forms into patties easily. After being kneaded and formed, the patties are fried, grilled, or baked. This production of maize is unusual for not using the nixtamalization (alkali cooking process) to remove the pericarp of the kernels. This makes arepa flour different from masa flour, which is used to make tortillas.[4]


The arepa is a typical Venezuelan dish par excellence with the hallaca. It is consumed throughout the geography of the country, it is usually eaten almost every day at breakfast or dinner, either as a main course or as a side. In Venezuela, there are different brands of corn flour. Some of these brands are Juana, De mass, Mercal, and National Flour Foodstuff (Harina PAN) In 1960, Empresas Polar, under the slogan "the piladera It's over!" launches pre-cooked corn flour harina p.a.n. obtained through the procedure developed by the Venezuelan mechanical engineer Luis Alberto Caballero Mejias, which represented an important alternative to avoid the long process of making arepas with a pylon. From that moment, thousands of trained by the company women took to teach housewives how to make arepas with corn flour, and these, in turn, were responsible for passing from one generation to the easiest way to make arepas. Following this, the main image of the packaging harina p.a.n. is a woman with a white turban with red and dressed points with a typical Venezuelan suit, very similar to those in charge of teaching and publicize the Harina PAN, which is the best selling and remembered by the Venezuelan brand, also markets in other countries. Tosty Arepa The arepas can be cooked in four different ways: roasted, baked, boiled, and fried. Another way to make arepas is using a Tosty Arepa, appliance, like precooked corn flour, he revolutionized the way as arepas prepared and decreased time preparación. Tosty Arepa is a creation of the company Oster of Venezuela. From 1989 to 2006, the Tosty Arepa has been transformed to more modern models and útiles. The arepas are sold primarily in areperas specializing in arepas, popular restaurants across the country, where the stuffed arepas are achieved with many dishes that have become popular in the population. This popular food has even been part of the menu McDonald's. In all over the country there are areperas working 24 hours and is a common practice in the morning, enjoy some arepas after leaving the clubs or parties.

Récord Guinness[edit]

On 23 March 2011 the record to making the world's largest corn bread by Empresas Polar, in Caracas, Venezuela, for processing using one of its flag, Precooked Corn Flour was granted harina p.a.n. within the framework of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the brand and 70 years of Empresas Polar . Arepa in question required 230 kg of flour, salt, oil and 420 liters of water to make a mixture of 683 kg and 493.2 kg obtained as a result of perfectly cooked and ready to eat arepas then 50 minutes of cooking. The record was ratified by the official adjudicator Guinness World Records, Ralph Hannah, who relished the arepa and made official the new marca.


Arepa flour is specially prepared (cooked in water, then dried) for making arepas and other maize dough-based dishes, such as hallacas, bollos, tamales, empanadas and chicha. The flour may be called masarepa, masa de arepa, masa al instante, or harina precocida. The most popular brand names of maize flour are Harina PANHarina Juana, and Goya in Venezuela, Areparina in Colombia.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Arepas". whats4eats. Retrieved 17 May 2012. 
  2. ^ "Arepas". picapica. Retrieved 16 September 2016. 
  3. ^ Lopez, Adriana. "Bringing the Arepa to the World". Picapica. Retrieved February 22, 2015. 
  4. ^ Blazes, Marian. "Masarepa - Precooked Corn Flour for Making Arepas". About Food. Retrieved July 8, 2015. 
  5. ^ Blazes, Marian. "Masarepa - Precooked Corn Flour for Making Arepas". About Food. Retrieved July 8, 2015. 

Further reading[edit]