The sweet plantains are sliced, deep-fried, and then jammed inside an arepa alongside stewed black beans. The beans -- simmered with onions, red peppers, and cilantro -- are vegan. The corn cake? It's also vegan. And those greasy, delicious maduros are vegan too.
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You can try this arepa ($5.95) at La Latina, a bright midtown shop that specializes in homespun Venezuelan eats such as empanadas and cachapas -- sweet corn pancakes packed with cheese and pork, chicken, or beef.
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The restaurant offers a few vegetarian options, such as arepas filled with scrambled eggs or black beans and cheese. But coming from a country that runs on asados and queso guayanés, the vegan portion of the menu is a greater surprise.
Choose between the sweet plantain variety or a version stuffed with avocado and beans. Or just go ahead and order both. They're vegan. Those fried plantains must be healthful, right?
Follow Emily on Twitter @EmilyCodik.