A street fair is held annually down on the main street in my neighborhood.
I don’t necessarily go every year, but this past weekend I needed a few things
from the grocery, the fair was in full swing, and so I ended up in the midst of it all.
Naturally, there were vendors selling everything imaginable, both edible and non.
Ice cream, jewelry, T-shirts, the obligatory roasted ears of corn, handmade pottery,
more jewelry, spinach pies, gym memberships, back massages, fruit pies, cupcakes,
even more jewelry…. And then, at the corner, there they were: the Mozzarepas.
Now, I’d read a post this past spring on fellow food blogger Ana’s site about her
purchase of a “proper” arepa pan and her attempts at making arepas at home. Being
of Cuban descent, arepas are a familiar food to her. They’re fairly simple to make.
After all, it’s just corn meal and water, fried in butter until crispy, and then baked.
Ana even graciously included her cousin’s “how to” instructions.
Interestingly enough, arepas were a frequent dish of early settlers in this country,
as well. The only difference was that they had a different name. Depending on where
a person lived, they could be called jonny cakes, hoecakes, or dodgers. But no matter
the specific term, all three were basically the same thing: corn meal (or Indian meal,
to an early colonist) mixed with water, made into a small cake that’s then either
fried or baked. Maybe add a little salt. Or, if it was available, and depending
on the season, perhaps some milk or a couple of eggs. You now have a typical
meal of those who first settled on this continent all those centuries ago.
And so, did I try a Mozzarepas? But of course! (in the name of research, you know)
Unfortunately, however, it wasn’t very good. I found the cornbread was too sweet,
and the mozzarella cheese too bland. I even pulled it apart, thinking that, maybe
if I ate the pieces separately, it would be better. Nope. It wasn’t. And try as I might
to finish it, I just couldn’t. I think I’d rather have a jonny cake! Or a dodger!
Especially one that’s been cooked over an open fire. IMO nothing could be better.