Masarepa is precooked, ground corn flour that is used to prepare arepas. Arepas are a type of corn cake that is popular in both Venezuela and Colombia. Arepas used to be traditionally made by soaking dried corn and then manually pounding the grains to remove the seed germ and the outer lining. The remaining part of the corn was then cooked and ground, and made into arepas. This labor intensive process is now done on an industrial level.
Grocery stores carry dried pre-cooked corn flour that can be used for making arepas quickly and easily.
Masarepa should not be confused with masa harina. Masa harina is made from a corn "dough" that is first dried and then ground into a fine cornmeal. The corn that is used to make masa harina is treated with lime in order to remove the germ and outer lining before it is ground. Masa harina is used for making tortillas.
Masarepa can be found in Latin food specialty stores and online. It is sometimes called masa al instante and harina precocida. Common brands are Harina PAN, Areparina, Harina Juana, and Goya (which comes in both white and yellow varieties). Look for the words "harina de maiz refinada precocida," or "refined, precooked corn flour" on the package.
Also Known As: Arepa flour, Masa al Instante, Harina Precocida
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