Arepas Above the Flames


Snapshot of several arepas and a piece of chicken being prepared by my wife for an early breakfast. Usually we don’t eat arepas; we prefer tortillas, but sometimes its nice to try out new food. After testing arepas, I still prefer our traditional Panamanian tortillas. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

If the word “arepas” is new to you, let me say that arepas are similar to the familiar “gorditas” traditionally found  in Mexico made of ground maize dough or cooked flour prominent in the cuisine of Colombia and Venezuela. Arepa is a native sort of bread made of ground maize (or flour), water, and salt which is fried or grilled into a thick bread.

It is eaten daily in those countries and can be served with various accompaniments such as cheese (cuajada), avocado, jelly or jam, or (especially in Venezuela) split and used to make sandwiches.

Various sizes, maize types, and added ingredients are used to vary its preparation. It is similar in shape to the Mexican gordita and the Salvadoran pupusa. Arepas can also be found in Panama, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and the Canary Islands.

BTW, in Panama ninety-nine percent of homes cook with butane instead of electricity which is very expensive.  In our home we usually have two 100-lbs tanks or cylinders of butane or LPG for our cooking needs.  A 100-lbs butane cylinder can be had for about $53.30 each.  The price varies according to the price of oil on the spot market.  Good Day.

5 thoughts on “Arepas Above the Flames”

  1. We have been buying bagels at the store and cutting them in half and then toasting them. We add butter and jelly. They are “very” chewy and I love them. Had one for breakfast this morning with real butter and apple jelly. Yum.

  2. I’ve not heard of arepas, but I know gorditas, and enjoy them. From the photo, your arepas look rather like a British crumpet, too. A little thicker, with nice holes for the butter to run into! If I remember correctly, crumpets are done on a griddle, too.

  3. Probably the word “gorditas” is more familiar to you, due to your proximity with Mexico. Crumpets and griddles are two new words for my English vocabulary. Will “google” them as soon as I send in this comment.

    Learning English never stops. I love it. Thank you for mentoring me in the language of Shakespeare.

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