What are Arepas?
Arepas are corn meal pockets that can be made in varying sizes and thickness, depending on the traditions of the region. Similar to the pita in shape and function, this traditional food can be baked, fried or grilled.
History of the Arepas
The Arepa originated hundreds of years ago, and was a staple in the diet of various indigenous tribes across the areas that are now Venezuela and Colombia. Known as daily masa bread, Arepas are eaten across various socio-economic groups, at all times of the day. The Arepa received its name from the word "erepa", the indigenous word for corn. Until the 1950s, when Areperas (Arepa joints) were few, Arepas were primarily eaten as a bread or side food. When Areperas began growing in popularity, people became more innovative with their fillings.
Initially the filled Arepa was referred to as a tostada, but now, it is simply called a filled Arepa or Arepa Rellena. The fillings vary and there are no rules (just like with any sandwich, fillings are endless). Some recipes have now become a part of traditional Arepas.