It’s really not a sin not to like Colombian food. It’s actually quite understandable if you just don’t like arepa and don’t want to learn to like it too. The white or yellow frisbees with milky cheese just are a little too typical for someone who’s used to the delicatessen of the internationally renowned North American cuisine. Therefore we present to you the All-American Arepa Cookbook ®, especially designed to fulfill your gastronomic gringo needs.
1 large tomato
1 burger patty
Cook burger, toast arepas, roast onions, slice tomato, wash lettuce. Squeeze mustard and ketchup onto arepas, drop on burger, layer ingredients. Hold the warm, aromatic creation in your hands, letting the juices drip onto your hands and drool to roll down your chin. Get teary-eyed thinking about all those long-ago stateside barbeques. Then bite into it and immediately realize why even Colombians don’t make hamburgers with arepas.
Sliced Canadian ham
So you didn’t find the Canadian ham? I didn’t either. I know regular ham isn’t the same, but you’re going to have to settle for it. No hollandaise sauce either? And have you ever tried making it yourself? Damn. Easier to mail order some Eggs Benedict from up north.
PB & Jarepa
One spreading of jam
1 jar of peanut butter
Money to buy second jar
Box of tissues.
Optional: second box of tissues
Place your two arepas on the cutting board, rough side up. Spread peanut butter on one of the two. Realize you haven’t had peanut butter since you arrived in Colombia. Remember reading somewhere that this is grounds for the embassy revoking your passport. Scoop a little bit of the peanut butter off the arepa with your finger. Then a little bit more. Start using both fingers. Suddenly you find yourself licking the arepa clean, staring hungrily at the jar. Seconds later, wonder why you had never before tried drinking peanut butter. Suddenly remember the PB&J. Use hand movements—your jaw is fused shut by the peanut butter—to ask your roommate to tie you up, go buy a second jar of peanut butter, spread the peanut butter & the jam, and then throw the jar out the window, then untie you. Now, eat it. Use box of tissues to wipe away your tears (open second box in case you find arepas taste just like those day-old pancakes your mom used to use for PB&Js. Oh mommy!).
Last resort arepa
Stick of butter
Place arepa on electric burner. Flip before it begins to smoke. Rub butter onto face (the arepa’s, not yours). Remove from heat. Eat. Realize that eating arepas like a Colombian is the only way to go.