Wikipedia says that “The arepa is a corn-based bread from the northern Andes in South America …” In reality, pregnancy an arepa is more similar to a savory corn pancake, ask and depending on who’s making it, more about it’s sometimes filled with gooey cheese. Down here, every street festival has an arepa cart which sells very greasy, very cheesy Colombian-style arepas. There’s even a semi-permanent arepa stand at Hobie Beach on Virginia Key that I’m sure gets lots of business from the multitude of hungry cyclists, runners and beach-goers that crowd the area during the summer.
Anyway, there are infinite recipes out there, all using different amounts of butter, cheese, milk and oil. I opted for a lighter version of the original, omitting the butter and cheese and keeping it as simple as possible to let the corn-ness (is that a word?) really shine. The result was just as flavorful, but way less greasy than the arepa cart.
Since I was trying to keep this meal light — it was lunchtime after all — I served my warm arepas with a refreshing crab and avocado salad. I loved the crab salad as an alternative to tuna and egg salads for the summer months. It would make a perfect lunch with some whole grain toast and leafy greens. It also elevates the arepas from small and snack-like to a full-blown meal, perfect for hot and humid evenings.