I made this portrait with the packaging of Harina Pan, the corn flower used to cook Arepas in Venezuela. It’s my own little tribute to such a meaningful part of my roots and culture. For any Venezuelan living outside of their country this image will bring back so many yummy memories. Arepas are our bread; we eat them every day for breakfast, lunch or dinner. On all occasions, Arepas are to us like fish and chips to Aussies, pasta to Italians or French Fries to French…well maybe that last example isn’t quite accurate.
Our hot Latin blood, makes us a bit of a party animals. We always have the perfect excuse to have a long weekend, hit the beach and drink Polarcitas (National beer). I think it is because we are blessed with the most amazing climate. Imagine the same lovely summer all year around! It’s very common for Venezuelans to go to Areperas after a night out. Just like in many places, the perfect place to finish the night and grab something to eat before going back home. Like the shawarmas joints, we have 24 hours Areperas. These restaurants mainly serve Arepas. When you walk in you have this very long counter with so many different types of fillings to choose from. Its a wonderful culinary experience! You can combine the fillings and we have come up with some very funny names for these combinations. If you ask the waiter to bring you “A Harry One” you will get an Arepa with shredded meat and shredded cheese!
Here in Perth we have actually found a Chinese supermarket in Freemantle that sells our beloved Harina Pan (corn flour) and even though the cost is 600% more that what you pay in Venezuela is completely worth it!!!! So we have our beloved Arepas, filled with butter, cheese and ham on the weekends. It really helps with the homesickness to have Arepas. It’s like having a piece of my family, my home, my city and my people with me.
Here I am just before sinking my Teeth into my yummy Arepa.
In many cosmopolitan cities around the world you will find Areperas (restaurants dedicated to serving this venezuelan specialty), and if you are not adventurous enough to try to make them on your own, I recommend that at least you try them if you come across one of these restaurants. A Venezuelan friend owns Caracas Arepa Bar in New York. Please check out their amazing site full of incredible images that will make your mouth watery. Their business is doing so well that they now have two restaurants, one in Manhattan and another one in Brooklyn. Here in Australia another Venezuelan owns Cruzao Arepas Bar in Melbourne. There you can hear Latin American music. I haven’t gone yet but I certainly will like to go on my next visit to this exiting city. I did a quick search on Arepas around the world and found this very interesting blog venezuelanfoodanddrinks.blogspot.com, you can find some crazy stories about Arepas there.
I think these portraits would look great as a decoration for any Arepera around the world. So if you own one or you are just a Venezuelan homesick of arepas, please get in touch with me I would love to make one for you!