Venezuela makes world record with largest arepa

The Associated Press
Wednesday, March 23, 2011; 6:26 PM

CARACAS, Venezuela -- Employees of Venezuela's largest food company cooked the world's largest arepa Wednesday, producing a flattened corn flour patty weighing 1,087.31 pounds (493.2 kilos). It was 19.7 feet (6 meters) across.

Arepas, which vaguely resemble Mexican tamales, are a traditional favorite in this South American country and neighboring Colombia. The patties are usually stuffed with fillings like shredded beef, cheese or black beans.

Ralph Hannah, a representative of the Guinness Book of World Records, certified the record weight after the giant arepa was cooked for hours over a heated metal plate and the water used to mix the dough evaporated.

The previous record weight for an arepa was 440 pounds (200 kilos).

The huge arepa was cooked at the headquarters of Empresas Polar, Venezuela's largest food producer. The event was organized to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Polar's introduction of precooked corn flour widely used to make arepas.

© 2011 The Associated Press