Arepas are a Latin American corn cake. The flour used to make them is a pre cooked cornmeal and not the same at all as corn meal. It is called masarepa and was a patented process. From wikipedia "This product was invented in the 1950s by Dr. Caballero Mejias, a Venezuelan engineer who used the profits from his patent to finance a Technical Schools system. The precooked form was widely industrialized from there The flour is mixed with water and salt (some people add oil, eggs and/or milk). After being molded by hand, or in a special mold, into a patty, the dough is fried, grilled or baked.
Since reading about the Arepa lady in the NYTimes --I've wanted to taste them.
Epicurious has a recipe for a smaller size and after a trip to Lola's for masarepa I was on my way. I stuffed my arepa with raw collards marinated in lime juice for about a half hour. I was very skeptical but it is vey good.