It’s no surprise that I am a bit of a fan of Colombian arepas. Hello, my friends call me Sarepa because of my addiction, for goodness sake (my real name is Sarah, by the way). But not everyone appreciates this simple Colombian food staple. I’ve heard people call it bland, boring and some have even compared it to cardboard. Gasp!
All I can say to those people is that they probably just haven’t had a good one yet. And when the do (when, not if) they will be just as in love with them as I am.
More: Your guide to street food in Colombia
The wonderful thing about Colombian arepas is their history. Now, there is a bit of playful (or maybe not so playful) competition between Colombia and Venezuela about who created the arepa first and which one tastes the best, but the truth is, Colombia and Venezuela used to share territory so chances are arepas developed within the region simultaneously, while local varieties evolved over time.
In Colombia, for instance, there are several different types of arepas that have emerged from different parts of the country. There are soft, fluffy and sweet varieties in some areas, while there are crisp, thin and fried types in others.
To help you find the perfect arepa for you, this is my list of 8 Colombian arepas that you must try. Who knows, you might just develop an addiction to these little corn disks, too.
1. Arepa Boyacense
The arepas from Boyaca have got to be one of my favourites. They’re crisp on the outside and oozing with cheese in the middle.
2. Arepa de choclo
Popular from the Andean regions of Colombia, the arepa de choclo is a sweet variety that is often eaten for breakfast or as a snack with a cup of hot chocolate.
3. Arepa Paisa
Arepas Paisas are thin, white and crispy arepas that are regularly served to accompany a meal, including breakfast, lunch and dinner. They’re a great snack too, especially with a couple of slices of quesito, which is a mild-tasting local cheese.
4. Arepas rellenas
Now, arepas rellenas are most common in Venezuela (and the photo above was taken by an awesome Venezuelan arepa store called Arepa House) but they are popular in Colombia, too. You’ll also find hamburgers sold without the burger buns but in an arepa instead. See how versatile arepas are? Are you in love with them yet?
5. Arepas de huevo
Las Arepas de Huevo are a food staple in coastal regions of Colombia. There are even festivals dedicated to this wonderful food. They are made just like your regular arepa with corn flour but a little thicker then usual. It’s then fried and then opened with a knife before an egg is cracked into it and then fried again. Yum.
6. Arepa Santandereana
The Arepa Santadereana is made with yellow corn flour and ash dissolved in water, which gives it its distinct and signature flavour. It’s then combined with pork crackling and then browned in a pot without oil. I’ve yet to try one of these arepas, but I’ll get there eventually.
7. Arepa Valluna
Arepas Vallunas are most popular in the area of Valle del Cauca but are also common in Cauca and Nariño and are made with well-kneaded corn flour dough, water and salt and then served with lashing of butter. LASHINGS.
8. Arepa de Arriero
The interesting thing about Arepas Arrieros is that the corn flour dough is soaked in water, sometime for up to five days at a time. They’re usually eaten with meat, lots and lots of meat.
What’s your favourite type of Colombian arepa? Let us know in the comments section below, or send us a photo on the Facebook page.