Trying a new dish…
Arepas are a Colombian food made from maize or flour. Arepas are a masa bread eaten daily and are often served with cheese, eggs, avocado, meat, or fish. Arepas are similar to gorditas (from Mexico) and pupusas (from El Salvador). They are round and flat and can be grilled, fried, or baked. Arepas are usually eaten for breakfast, but can be served as an afternoon snack. Although arepas are a daily staple of Colombian cuisine, they are also served at more formal occasions, such as weddings and graduations.
The origin of the arepa goes back hundreds of years as a food eaten be many indigenous tribes. They are eaten all over Venezuela, as well as Colombia, and are eaten across all socio-economic groups. Everyone eats arepas!
The arepas I ate today were fried and sprinkled with a coarse salt. They were served with cheese and fruit. I ate mine plain – the salt was all I needed. The beverage served with the meal was a Colombian hot chocolate (chocolate caliente). Colombian hot chocolate is a little thicker with a hint of cinnamon. ¡Delicioso!
I tried this new dish at a gathering with friends this morning. Marcela, our Colombian friend, opened her home to us and cooked us a traditional Colombian late morning breakfast. Her table was decorated in bright, vivid colors that made me think of the Colombian sun. The conversation (all in Spanish) was as good as the meal. Marcela and her aunt told about their native country, it’s culture, and some popular places to visit.
Before we left we made plans to travel together to Colombia next year. I’m not sure if these plans were for real. But, if we do get to Colombia… I’m having the arepas!