Colombians love arepas, no doubt about it! You’ll find them as a side with just about any meal, and sometimes it’s the main course!
Often referred to in English as corn cakes but they’re actually not all made of corn.
Many gringos don’t like the standard white corn arepa which, they say, tastes like cardboard. Dunno how they know what cardboard tastes like, and to be sure, it’s not a very tasty thing, but it’s not meant to be eaten on its own. Dip it in your soup!
Also, there’s arepas for every taste, and at the risk of sounding like Bubba in the movie Forrest Gump rattling off all the different types of shrimp-based delicacies, I’ll list a few arepas below…
Arepa de chócolo (tchO-co-lo): This yellow arepa is made from sweet corn kernels rather than flour, giving it that coarse fibrous texture which we love. Served with soft cheese like quajada or quesito. Sweet.
Arepa de huevo (oo-ey-vo): This is simply a corn arepa with a cooked egg inside it. A popular breakfast on the Costa (Caribbean coast of Colombia), and one of my favorites. Not sweet.
Arepa de yuca (Joo-cah): Made with cassava flour: chewy and gooey. Slightly sweet. My typical breakfast arepa.
Arepa de mote (moh-teh): It’s a hard and dry arepa made from whole corn grain. Not sweet.
Arepas Venezuelan style: thick, moist, fluffy and crumbly. Popular here as arepa rellena – an arepa folded over with your choice of filling. Not sweet.
Almost all varieties of arepas are also sold filled with gooey cheese, or with cheese mixed in the batter.
I didn’t cover the whole arepa universe, there’s tons of regional varieties, but before saying arepas suck, try some of the above and your opinion may well change!