Arepas! Arepas! There's a street food vendor in the Jackson Heights area of Queen's, in New York, who's known as the Arepa Lady. The arepa is a street food snack in Venezuela and Colombia, where Maria Cano is from. So successful is her cart that she tweets its roving location from @Arepalady to her 1,000-plus hungry followers, and recently Cano and her family opened a restaurant.
At its most basic, an arepa is a flat cake made from ground dried corn, but it can take many forms. It's either fried or griddled; can be thin or thick; and it can be served plain, topped with other ingredients, folded over a filling, or split in half horizontally and stuffed. Sometimes, the raw dough is shaped around a filling before being cooked.
Typical toppings or fillings include grated cheese (the kind that melts in the heat and becomes oozy and stretchy), cooked meats, beans, egg, avocado and salsa; some vendors have a range of sauces that can be drizzled over the arepa, although - as it's often eaten out of hand - that can make things messy. In restaurants, it's easier to eat them with a knife and fork.
You can find arepas rellenas (stuffed arepas) at 33 Café y Mucho Mas, in Causeway Bay (www.33cafe.hk).