Venezuela makes world record with largest arepa

People attempt to make the world's largest arepa, sponsored by Venezuela's Polar company, in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday March 23, 2011. Polar set a Guinness World Record with the preparation of an arepa measuring six meters (19.69 feet) in diameter, made with 230 kilograms (507 pounds) of flour and weighing 600 kilograms (1,323 pounds) after cooked. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

March 24, 2011 7:48:37 AM PDT
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.