There’s no doubt that there are two areas where people with celiac disease, time and time again, lose out when it comes to food choices.
The first and most obvious is bread and bread products. The experience of dining out is punctuated with refrains such as:
“I’ll have the burger without the bun please.”
“Could I get that cheese covered sandwich filling in a bowl please”.
And, more often than not, that delicious filling simply doesn’t work when removed from it’s warm breaded pocket and tossed into a bowl.
The second is fast food. Everybody wants, desires and (deserves!) the occasional deliciously greasy ½ pounder burger enveloped in melting cheese and onions, sitting happily in a perfectly toasted and buttered bun.
So when your friend is served with this:
You end up with this:
And while the selection of store-bought gluten-free substitutes is getting better, once the same GF bread has been used 1000 times, it can make your gluten-free diet a little bit dull. What’s needed is variety, and here at Gluten Free WorldWide we’ve come across a new bread type which serves to solve these problems and then some!
Introducing……. The AREPA
An Arepa is a flatbread made of ground maize dough or cooked flour and is eaten on a daily basis in Colombia and Venezuela . It is most often made with pre-cooked corn meal making it completely gluten-free!
Often accompanied in those countries by cheese or jelly avocado or jam, others prefer to split Arepas to make the perfect sandwich for burgers , minced or pulled meats of all kinds topped with your favourite sauce, some cheese and onions.
Different variants are also found in Mexico , El Salvador, Puerto Rico and The Canaries.
According to Wikipedia the arepa is a flat, round, unleavened patty made of soaked, ground kernels of maize, or—more frequently nowadays—maizemeal or maize flour which can be grilled, baked, fried, boiled or steamed, etc. The characteristics vary by color, flavor, size, and the food with which it may be stuffed, depending on the region.
The most popular method today is to buy cooked arepa maizemeal or flour. The flour is mixed with water and salt, and occasionally oil, butter, eggs, and/or milk. Because the flour is already cooked, the blend forms into patties easily. After being kneaded and formed, the patties are fried, grilled, or baked.
A versatile little item, some Venezuelan varieties include:
- Traditional corn (maize)
- Maize flour (arepa blanca or viuda)
- Sweet (arepa dulce)
- Cheese (arepa de queso)
- Reina pepiada – filled with avocado, chicken, and mayonnaise
- Fried (arepa frita)
- Arepa pelúa – with yellow cheese and pulled beef
- Arepa con queso guayanés – with soft Guayanés cheese, similar to mozzarella
- Arepa llanera – with cuts of beef (parrilla or barbecue), tomato slices, avocado slices and fresh white cheese
Some Colombian varieties:
Arepas are usually eaten for breakfast or as an afternoon snack. Common toppings include butter, cheese, scrambled eggs, condensed milk, Colombian chorizo, and hogao.
- Egg – this variety originated from the Caribbean coast, but is popular in most major cities. This arepa is deep fried with a single raw egg inside that is cooked by the frying process.
- Cheese (arepa de queso, arepa de quesillo) – is either made with cheese mixed into the ingredients or filled with grated cheese before it is cooked (grilled or fried, in this case).
- Arepa Boyacense – these come from the department of Boyacá. They are very hard and dense, and are typically about three to four inches across and filled with a sweet cheese.
If you would like to learn HOW TO MAKE AREPAS check out this great (and simple) video recipe.
To see more great gluten-free videos check out our VIDEOS PAGE here.
If you prefer less mess and and quicker cooking time then why not try an AREPA MAKER –Brentwood Arepa Maker 6 Slice – Brentwood AR-135very similar to waffle makers.
For a selection of bread mixes and a range of other gluten-free products visit our Shop Pages: Shop USA / Canada