Diego Del Aguila recently joined the Lima Team, and thus far has been impressing everyone with his awesome arepas! Diego once lived in Venezuela, and brought the recipe for this typical dish with him when he moved to Peru. Not quite sure what an arepa is? Let Diego tell you about it.
Tell us what goes into making a GREAT arepa.
Arepas are easy to make. The key ingredients are corn flour (precooked, which is common in Venezuela and Colombia), water, and salt. But what makes arepas great is that you can fill them with different kinds of ingredients, like beef, chicken, cheese, etc. Common combinations in Venezuela include la reina pepiada (avocado, chicken, onion, pepper, mayonnaise), el perico (egg, tomato, onion) and la dominó (black beans and white cheese).
Aside from that, the most important ingredient is the care & love that you put into it.
How long have you been making homemade arepas?
For almost 20 years now, back to when I lived in Venezuela. Sometimes I would be home alone and had to make something for breakfast or dinner, and a good option was always the arepas.
Do you have any fun memories making arepas?
When I first started making arepas on my own, I didn’t know the exact amounts of each ingredient that you needed, so I had bad ratios of flour to water and salt, and my first batches came out very hard, bland, not salty at all or with too much salt! It took a lot of time and practice to achieve the perfect recipe. Years later I realized that the bag of flour includes instructions on how to make them!
Are there other things you like to cook as well?
I love to cook different things. I like making Mexican food, pastas, salads – I make my own lunch almost everyday. Every once in awhile I’ll invite my friends or family over for lunch or dinner. I think it’s a nice gesture to cook and provide food to your loved ones, bringing everyone together around the table, enjoying something you made with your own hands.