As part of our menu projects, we were required to include a short essay on an ingredient or component used in one of our dishes. I knew right away that I had to write on the arepa, as there really is no more popular Venezuelan food.
The arepa is a major staple in the Venzuelan diet and it is probably the country’s best known dish. Venezuelans eat them with breakfast much like an English muffin, as a sandwich at lunch, as a side at dinner, and a million of other ways in between.
In its most basic form, the arepa is a round, rustic bread or griddle-cake usually made from corn flour that can be fried, grilled, baked, or cooked with a combination of methods. The two most common preparations in Venezuela are probably the arepa frita, which is deep fried, and the arepa asada, which is first grilled or pan-fried, and then finished in the oven.