Some studies indicate that the word arepa comes from the indigenous word "erepa", which the Cumanagotos tribe of the Caribs that inhabited the northeastern region of Venezuela used to name corn, a basic ingredient in the preparation of this food.
Today, the arepa is considered a gastronomic icon of Venezuela and Colombia, and a common heritage shared by these nations.
The arepa is a symbol of the indigenous tradition that is still present in these countries. However, the mode of preparation changed in 1960 with the introduction of precooked cornmeal which simplifies the process by making soaking and grinding the corn unnecessary.
Arepas are a highly versatile cornbread made from corn flour. This special kind of bread resemble English muffins and are made with various toppings or fillings, including cheese, butter, or meat. The preparation varies widely.
Cachapas are a traditional dish also made from corn flour. They can be made like pancakes of fresh corn dough. The most common varieties are made with fresh ground corn mixed into a thick batter and cooked on a budare, like pancakes; the cachapa is slightly thicker and lumpier because of the pieces from corn kernels.
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