The Venezuelan arepa has its origins hundreds of years ago, cooked by the various indigenous tribes across the country (Arawak, Carib, Timoto-Cuica, Cumanagoto, Karina, among others). What was initially made with fresh corn is usually made today using pre-cooked cornmeal. The arepa represents Venezuelans’ daily bread. It is eaten across the country, across all socio-economic groups, at all times of day.
The arepa has its name from the word Erepa, the indigenous word for this corn bread. The plain arepa is a round, thick bread (very much like an English muffin). Up until the 1950’s, arepas were eaten primarily as a type of bread to accompany food or to be filled with just cheese. Today, the fillings varied greatly and there are no set rules (just like any sandwich, filling options are infinite).