Breakfast Club Bounty: Arepas

Appreciating Breakfast

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”

“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”

“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.”

― A.A. Milne

I agree with Winnie the Pooh about breakfast, especially with regard to our Breakfast Club at work.  I’ve blogged about it before (click here); it’s a great way to bond with colleagues and enjoy the most important meal of the day from someone else’s kitchen.

A Venezuelan Treat

One of my colleagues is from Venezuela, and she brought a real treat this week:  arepas.  How can it be that I had never heard of this crunchy, pita-like pocket made with corn flour and filled with shredded beef covered with cheese and a creamy green sauce?  Arepas were my exciting thing that happened that day.

Venezuela Arepa 2 - Version 2
The shredded beef arepa was topped with cheese and a creamy green sauce and served alongside a mango mousse and grapefruit juice.  Can you see why I love Breakfast Club? What a great way to start a busy Thursday at work.

While serving us this wonderful breakfast, my colleague shared some of the background and history of arepas.  They are a predominant bread product in Venezuela and Columbia and are made with pre-cooked corn flour.  They can be served at any meal, with a variety of fillings that include cheese, eggs, seafood, pork or other meats, avocados, beans or even fruit.  They’ve been around for hundreds of years and originated with the indigenous tribes of Venezuela.  Here’s a nice history lesson about arepas, if you’re interested in knowing more.

“Food is a Great Opportunity to Understand Culture”

Diversity Hands - the World I Want to Live InMy Venezuelan colleague summed it up beautifully in our online Breakfast Club forum; in responding to our effusive praise about her breakfast, she said:

“I love to work in a global, learning, multicultural organization. Food is great opportunity to understand culture.  It is like art and music – these elements are joyful and meaningful for many cultures, locations, countries.”

What’s for breakfast on Breakfast Club days?  A heaping serving of multiculturalism and team-bonding.  And a darn good meal.

Read more about Breakfast Club here.  And stay tuned for the recipes; I’ll post them as soon as I get my hands on them.

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