WHAT IS AN AREPAS?
Arepas are also known as corn pancakes. For thousands of years, this Latin American recipe has consisted of maize kernels soaked, ground then formed into patties and cooked. Created several hundred years ago by the Timoto-Cuica, this recipe was a staple among the tribes of Venezuelan and Colombia. Today this pancake is Venezuela’s most famous dish. Eaten daily, it’s often served with cheese, meat or avocado.
HOW ARE THE BEST AREPAS MADE?
This simple recipe has just 3 ingredients – salt, water and corn flour. If cracks forming on the edges when shaping the raw dough, rubbing breaks with warm milk can smooth the dough back into shape. In terms of cooking they can be grilled, baked or fried. However the Minimalist Baker recommends initially deep frying them and then finishing them off in the oven for the best results. A key factor is using the right flour specially pre-cooked for making arepas. The flour comes in 2 types, white and yellow and while they’re used separately they can be mixed together to yield both a golden color and sweeter flavor.
WHAT KIND OF FLOUR AND STARTER SHOULD I USE?
Also known as harina de maiz, this corn flour is refined and pre-cooked. There is no starter a.k.a. leavening agent used in this recipe.
HOW SHOULD AREPAS BE STORED?
Once cooked they can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for several days. Or refrigerate them for 4 to 5 days. They can also be frozen in an airtight container for about 2 months.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PUPUSAS, GORDITAS AND AREPAS?
While these are very similar, there are a few differences. Gorditas and pupusas are cooked and then stuffed, the opposite of arepas. Pupusas are native to El Salvador and gorditas are a Mexican recipe.