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Arepas are one of the most popular foods of Colombian cuisine. They are round corn patties, made big or small, thick or thin and they all have a spectacular taste. This delicious, easy to prepare traditional dish has many variations throughout the country. There are about 75 types of Arepas. They depend on the type of corn, the shape, the ingredients and the way of preparation - grilled, baked, roasted or fried. After eggs and bread, Arepa is the 3rd most consumed food in the country, and it can even be enjoyed at different times of the day. Learn about the most popular kinds of Arepas in Colombia:
Freshly prepared Arepa paisa with Cheese
Arepa Paisa is different - it is very thin and white. The dough is based on pure corn, without any other ingredients, not even salt. However, it is usually topped with butter, salt, and fresh white cheese. It is the one that enjoys the most fame - sometimes the simplest things are the best.
A vendor selling Arepa at a local market
The locals call this type "arepa con todo" (Arepa with everything). Depending on the region, they are filled with a variety of ingredients such as chicken, beef, cod, or shrimps.
Fried Arepa de huevo served with Aji and typical suero costeño cream
Arepa de Huevo is characteristic of the Colombian Caribbean coast. They are made from yellow corn and have a whole egg inside. The preparation is a bit tricky as you have to fry the dough first, then cut the Arepa a little bit to put in the egg and then fry it again.
A plate with different kinds of Arepas. From left to right cheese-filled Arepa, Arepa de huevo, and Arepa de Choclo
Arepa de Choclo is prepared with sweet corn - the sweet flavor and its texture make this Arepa quite different from the other types. It is served with cheese or cream cheese.
Fresh Arepa boyacense
Arepa Boyacense is typical of the department of Boyacá, located in the eastern Andean mountain range. The dough is made from dry yellow corn, ground with butter, milk, salt, and sugar or panela. Thus, you can easily recognize it by its yellow color. Arepa Boyacense is often filled with curd or fresh cheese and has a slightly sweet taste.
You will easily find arepas in almost every Colombian city; in Sierva María a restaurant located in the city center of Bogotá, you will find one of the best Arepa de Huevo in town. Whereas the café Probocaitos serves tasty Arepa Boyacense. If you travel in Medellín try a great variety of this delicious dish in J&C Delicias or at Arepa Todo al Carbón, where you get an Arepa filled with 11 ingredients. You can also find them in small stands, street corners, restaurants, or you can buy them ready-made in the cool department in every supermarket.
No matter for which type of Arepa you go you will get a taste of true Colombian tradition. Arepas have been a breakfast staple for more than 500 years and the locals still live this tradition. Try all the different flavors and discover your favorite one. You can either eat them plain or accompany them to a dish.
Whatever you do, don't leave Colombia without trying a delicious traditional Arepa!
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