Arepas originated from the Timoto-Cuica people of Colombia and Venezuela but as time wore on, each country put their own spin on the staple. The main ingredient remains the same for both - a thick corn flour pancake provides the foundation for the other flavors. Colombian arepas are mainly stuffed with cheese and/or eggs. But Venezuelan arepas can be stuffed with a variety of different meats, cheese, vegetables and more. The result is a dish that has a different texture from a taco or burrito thanks to the cornflour shell. That shell acts as a complement to the rest of the dish, absorbing the flavors of the other ingredients and transforming them further, rather than just being a vehicle for flavor like a traditional tortilla. So if you’re looking to enjoy some South American flavors for your next lunch or catered event, arepas are a great option for a team with an adventurous palate!
A corn arepa shell is a great alternative to the traditional flour tortilla. Unlike a flour tortilla, which can become soggy and lose its integrity, a corn arepa shell actually tastes better when it has absorbed some moisture or juices. However, be careful not to let it become too soggy, as this can cause the shell to fall apart. If you're ordering a large number of arepas, keep in mind that they may not stay fresh for very long. You'll want to be mindful of your delivery time versus the time you actually plan to eat.
Absolutely! Arepas shells are made from corn so they are always gluten-free. Just make sure that the fillings you select are also gluten-free! Look for the (GF) indicator next to each selection to know whether or not they are gluten-free.
Typically, one arepa will be enough for one person. Some restaurants recommend two per person if their arepa shells are smaller. Keep in mind that, unlike burritos, arepas are never cut in half when served buffet-style. We recommend ordering for a little bit higher than your headcount to accommodate any unexpected guests or big appetites.
Are there vegan and vegetarian options for arepas catering?
If you have vegetarian or vegan guests, don't worry – most restaurants will have vegetable or tofu filling options that will suit them just fine. Simply look for dishes marked with (V) or (VG) to make sure they fit within your guests' dietary restrictions.
What goes well with Arepas?
Great sides for arepas include rice and beans, watermelon jicama salad and guacamole.
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