Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Keep Calm and Eat Arepas - In Portobello Market

Andres Gonzalez and David Gutierrez, who run the Guasacaca food stall in London's Acklam Village Market, have had so many requests for their distinctive "Keep Calm and Eat Arepas" T-shirts that they have decided to sell them. Now you can visit the stall in London's Portobello Road, enjoy a traditional Venezuelan arepa and pick up a cool T-shirt to impress your friends. Guasacaca is open every Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm.

If you want a tasty Venezuelan snack in South London head for Acklam Village Market (W10) - an offshoot of Portobello Road Market - where the folks at the Guasacaca foodstall offer a full spread of arepas to delight all tastes.

For the enterprising young Venezuelans who run the stall, David Gutierrez, Irua Dugarte, Andrea Villalba and Andres Gonzalez, the small but colourful stall is an excellent opportunity to spread the word about Venezuelan food and convert more people to the flavours of their homeland.

For those new to the arepa, these disc-shaped cornbread patties are big enough to hold in two hands and can be eaten plain or with butter. More typically, they are opened up like a pocket and stuffed with tasty fillings, such as shredded beef, black beans, grated cheese, avocado and chicken, or any combination that takes your fancy.

The must-try arepa filling they sell at Guasacaca is the Reina Pepiada, a lip-smacking combination of shredded chicken, mashed avocado, mayonnaise and peas.

Not surprisingly for Venezuela - famous for the stunning beauty of its lady folk - the Reina Pepiada is named after local lovely Susana Dujim, who won Miss World in 1955. It is popular with Venezuelan party-goers who like to end a big night out with something sticky, savoury and filling (a sort of South American version of the donor kebab).

But whatever filling you try, don't forget to add the final flourish, a dollop of tasty guasaca sauce, made with avocados, or a spicy splash of picante hot sauce.
All arepas cost £5 and you can mix and match any of the fillings on the menu.

The latest addition to the stall came about by chance. The "keep Calm and Eat Arepas" T-shirts that the Guasacaca team had specially printed to give the stall. a distinctive look have proved so popular with customers that they have decided to offer them for sale. 

The T-shirts are so popular in fact that David recommends that anyone interested in buying one should contact Guasacaca with their sizes and colour preferences to avoid disappointment, either at their Guasacaca-London facebook page or email them at Guasacacalondon@gmail.com

Acklam Village Market (W10 5TY) is one of the coolest street food markets in London, a place to feed your face after a morning browsing the posh antique shops and cheap and cheerful vintage clothes stalls of Portobello Road.

Guasacaca is flanked by a variety of stalls selling ethnic street foods from a variety of countries. One of the benefits of Acklam is the laid back bar with tables and sofas where you can sip a beer and listen to live music while tucking into your Venezuelan arepas, Jamaican patties or South Indian samosas.

How to get there: Take the Tube to Ladbroke Grove on the Hammersmith and City or Circle Lines and then cross the street at the zebra crossing and walk straight through the market to Portobello Road, Acklam Village is in front of you on the other side of the road. Alternatively go to Notting Hill Gate on the Central Line and make your way down Portobello Road to Acklam Road.

No comments: