Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Lately I have become cognizant of an exciting new trend in certain south eastern markets like Florida and Georgia. If you are wondering what I am talking about, it’s the Arepa. A flatbread commonly made from corn dough as well as flour.

Most of my Hispanic readers will already know what I am talking about. The arepa itself is a product derived from corn that is cooked into a flatbread. These Spanish flatbreads originated from Colombia and Venezuela where they were topped with a variety of ingredients such as cheeses and meats.

The Spanish flatbreads of sorts are being reinvented in America in a variety of exciting ways. In some areas they are being fused with classic American dishes such as the typical hamburger. Other times the arepa is simply served as it traditionally is in its native countries of origin. I intend to dive right into this Arepa fascination that seems to be setting into the complex weave of American society.

Who Carries These?

One of the more exciting aspects of this food craze is how the dish seems to reach all form of delicatessen. This ubiquitous presence allows Americans to become familiarized with the arepa at a myriad of price points. Most of us are more willing to try out new food items when the price is easily swallowed.

Of all the more frugal places I have visited and had an arepa based dish I must say my favorites have been locations that fuse the arepa with another regions cuisine. In the central Florida market of Orlando I found myself oft visiting a food truck in the heart of Downtown Orlando. This food truck served arepa burgers, arepa quesadillas, and arepa gyros that were both ingeniously creative as well as delectable.

These arepa burgers I stuffed down my gullet were based on another Hispanic fusion dish known as the Colombian burger.  These burgers are doused in sauces that heavily rely on garlic to provide the main flavor. Not only are these dishes delicious but they are also rather cheap, coming it at an average of seven dollars per dish.

I implore you to try the lower cost arepa burgers out if they are available in your area. Yet for those already acquainted with the delectable taste of a corn based Hispanic flatbread I recommend exploring the arepa’s native roots. You will find that many five star establishments are unquestionably desired and it’s apparent due to the catering business that many of these companies provide.

One such provider of arepa based dishes is Caracas Rockaway, which is located in Manhattan as well as Brooklyn. Caracas Rockaway oozes a high quality dining experienced that mixes both authentic cuisine with new takes on the classic South American Dish.

Ready for Prime Time

The arepa is a dish that could very well revolutionize Hispanic dishes in the United States. Its current status in the minds of most Americans is simply non-existent. Still all food revolutions take time and it’s no wonder that the arepa would adhere to such a basic tenant.

Considering that the United States is currently debating over topics such as Immigration reform, it’s no surprise that a Hispanic dish might lose its traction on any given day. Our political climate is often toxic when it comes to regarding the peoples of South America. This toxicity leads to distrust and anger towards cultures that in no way deserve such treatment.

Even with all of this negativity I know in my heart that America is a melting pot nation. Eventually after the restless rumbling of the old guard subsides and Hispanics have fully assimilated into the culture, I feel confident that the arepa as well as other Hispanic dishes will eventually enjoy the benefits of becoming a staple dish in the eyes of the United States Populace.

About The Author:

Today's guest post was written by Eduardo Dieguez, blogger for NewUrbanFarms.com. Eduardo is a 1st generation American born Cuban that is currently in pursuit of his AA Degree at Valencia CC.

Image Credit:
Steven Depolo

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