With the risk of offending a sizeable chunk of the Colombian population, I must say that the Arepa – Colombia’s stable corn bread – remains one of the most boring, tasteless things I have ever put in my mouth. From what I can gather from fellow expats and other foreign visitors, I am far from alone in feeling this.
The tiny, fat arepas that Colombians favor at BBQ’s are the worst. But the larger, thin ones are not exactly mouthwatering either. That they put queso cuajado on them does not seem to help the matter any further. To be honest, I thought that I’d just have to accept that everybody in my family – including my kids – loves the arepa except for me… until an American passing through Cali told me about a place called Ware that he was introduced to by a local, Caleño friend.
Ware uses the same white corn dough just like a normal arepa, but that’s about all that Ware’s arepas have in common with the average arepa. At Ware, the ladies in the kitchen puts the dough in a cupcake mold and fills it with tons of goodies before putting them on a conveyor belt and sending them through a blasting oven before serving them burning hot with house salsa and a cold glass of aguapanela con limon.
My favorites include the Infarto, Samba, Endiablada, Porky and Paisa.
Each arepa cupcake costs $3.000 no matter the flavor. I’d say that anyone with a proper appetite can consume between 3-5 of these beauties. Make sure to check them out. In my modest opinion, I’d say it’s a great place to bring a date. It’s fun, informal and even the high society Caleños will get wobbly knees when trying a Ware arepa for the first time.
Barrio Los Libertadores (behind San Antonio)
Calle 2A # 22-02
Calle 16 # 56-40 – Plaza 56, Local 2
Both are open every day from 5:30 PM.