3.19.2013

Comida Venezolana

Most of the food I cook is based off of my mother's lessons in the kitchen growing up, as I assume is true for many people. While I enjoy branching out and trying lots of new recipes, those old traditional meals bring me a lot of comfort. Now, I'm not sure if I've written about being Venezuelan before, but my father was born and raised in Maracaibo. He, my mother and I would fly back every summer till I was about 7 or 8. Sadly, I haven't been back since but I remember it fondly and relive those memories (even if it's just a little bit) when making one of the traditional Venezuelan foods that my family has always eaten: arepas.


Arepas are delicious patties made from corn flour that you slice open and stuff with various toppings, then eat like a sandwich. They're simple and absolutely amazing. I mean it! They're also pretttty messy. DominĂ³, which is stuffed with traditional black beans and white cheese (plus nata), was always most popular in my family. Since I have no idea where to find nata or the proper white cheese from my childhood memories, I just use crema Mexicana and queso fresco.


Like most delicious latin@ food I know how to make, I start my beans with sofrito. There are a lot of recipes online and it's even sold in jars in stores. I was raised on the green, tomato-less kind but I'm sure the red stuff is delicious.


Normally I'd boil the arepas then bake them like I did in this giant feast, which was actually the first time I cooked for my in-laws(!), but my mom recently suggested I switch things up and make the masa with milk (whaaaat??) and fry 'em. TOTAL GAME CHANGER. These were so delicious.


Apparently in Puerto Rico, arepas are made with coconut milk, lard or butter, flour, and baking powder. I'm pretty pumped to make them like that next time, minus the lard of course! Have you ever had arepas?

13 comments:

  1. Never had them, which irritates me, because they look DELICIOUS.

    Australia has such a lack of South American food. (The most we have is Mexican, which Americans inform me is nothing like good, proper Mexican food.)

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    1. They're so good! If you ever come to Chicago I'll have to make you some :)

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    2. I will hold you to that, love :)

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  2. Mmmm that looks amazing. I love eating sopes at our local Mexican/Colombian restaurant, which are made with little masa patties. I wonder if they are similar to arepas. Would love to give them a go at home with a proper recipe.

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    1. Sopes and arepas are pretty different from what I gather, but they do look delicious. I've never had 'em. I debated posting the recipe but it's a little difficult because I didn't learn with measurements, I just learned their texture from my mom in the "a little of this, some of that" style of cooking! I'm sure there are plenty of recipes online though. There are even arepa makers sold at Walmart!

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  3. This is awesome! I follow your hubby's Flickr and I was wondering who was influencing all this Arepa-making and was waiting for your post :) I am Venezuelan too but have never baked them. Most of the time, I resort to our closest Venezuelan restaurant in NYC to fill the craving, I will try it your way soon. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Yay, a fellow Venezolana! I get so excited! Here in Chicago we have one place and it's actually not even in the city but it's pretty delicious. I've been to Caracas Arepa Bar in NYC once a million years ago, also delicious. You should totally try making them yourself, at least once ;)

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    2. Wooo! Have you heard of the TostiArepa? It's cheating, but usually that's the method I use at home, unless my husband wants a "spaceship" sized one and I use a skillet! Is not the same but in lack of an aripo it does the trick. I'm definitely going to give your way a try. Thanks for your lovely comment on my abandoned blog, I love yours!

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  4. Wow!! I´d never imagine that you were from Venezuela, it was a nice surprise because I´m Venezuelan and it´s so lovely to see someone who spreads our culture with love like you are doing!

    Never liked the Domino arepas myself, but you made me hungry haha! And I think is easier to find Harina pan over there than here, sad though u_u

    Big hug from a boiling hot Valencia in this semana santa! :D

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    1. Hugs to you too!! Thank you :) I debated posting this just because I wasn't super specific with recipe details but I still wanted to share. I won't hold your arepa preference against you, I'm vegetarian so I'm limited. It's usually dominĂ³ or perico not that I'm complaining!

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Thanks for commenting! I always love hearing from readers! ♥