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Choclo Arepas: The Sweet Heart of Colombian Cuisine


Choclo arepa with cheese
Choclo arepa with cheese. Credit: Mayeli Espinosa Rios/CC BY-NC 2.0

In the realm of Colombian cuisine, few dishes enjoy the widespread love and recognition that arepas do. These versatile, corn-based patties take various forms across the country, each reflecting regional flavors and ingredients that make Colombian food so diverse. The Choclo Arepa, a distinct variant, distinguishes itself with its use of sweet, tender, and creamy corn.

Arepas are a dietary mainstay in Colombia, on par with staples like rice, beans, and plantains. These flatbreads come in many different varieties, from simple and unadorned to more intricate, stuffed versions. While the classic arepa employs masarepa, a type of pre-cooked cornmeal, the Choclo Arepa carves its own niche by employing fresh sweet corn kernels.

The Magic of Choclo

In Colombian Spanish, “choclo” refers to sweet corn, and it’s this main ingredient that makes Choclo Arepas truly special. Fresh corn kernels are used in lieu of cornmeal, creating a softer, creamier, and slightly sweet arepa. Choclo corn brings its inherent natural sweetness to the table, imparting a touch of sugary delight to these arepas.

Crafting the Choclo Arepa

Whipping up Choclo Arepas is a labor of love as it involves grinding fresh sweet corn kernels into a dough. Here’s a basic recipe that offers a taste of this Colombian delight:


4 cups of fresh sweet corn.
1 cup of your choice of fresh cheese, such as curd or peasant cheese.
3 tablespoons of grated panela (unrefined whole cane sugar).
1/3 cup of butter.
1 pinch of salt.
2/3 cup of Alqueria Chantilly Cream.
1/2 cup of Alquería Milk.
2/3 cup of yellow corn flour.


Begin by placing the fresh corn and milk into a blender, ensuring they combine well to break down the corn kernels.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl, and add the grated panela, a pinch of salt, corn flour, and Alquería Chantilly Cream. Thoroughly combine all the ingredients using a spatula.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat and melt a small amount of butter. Pour the mixture into the pan to form the arepa. Cover and allow it to cook for 2 or 3 minutes or until it dries on top. Next, add grated or diced cheese, fold the arepa in half, and continue to cook for another half a minute, softening the cheese.

Serve and relish its flavorful goodness.

Serving Suggestions:

Choclo Arepas are traditionally served with additional butter, cheese, or as accompaniments to other Colombian favorites such as chorizo or chicharron (crispy pork belly). For breakfast or as a snack, they pair wonderfully with a classic Colombian hot chocolate.

A Regional Delight

In Colombia, Choclo Arepas are particularly favored in the departments of Antioquia and Santander. These regions truly cherish this unique style of arepa, where the natural sweetness of the corn forms a delightful contrast with the savory, crumbly cheese.

While the classic arepa will forever hold a special place in the hearts of Colombians, the Choclo Arepa adds a delightful twist to the country’s culinary heritage. Whether savored plain, with cheese, or as part of a more complex dish, it’s a testament to the boundless creativity that characterizes Colombian cuisine.

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