YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – What better way to learn about and immerse yourself in another culture than by learning to make its food? For Hispanic Heritage Month, the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County is offering just that to the community.

Marnie Alvarez with the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County said it best, “Nothing brings people together like food.”

So, the library is hosting two classes on how to make Colombian cheese arepas. It’s a simple dish that anyone can make.

“Arepas are such a quintessential Colombian dish and there’s so many variations that you can make with it,” Alvarez said.

To make them, start by whisking warm water and salt together. Then add in flour and your cheese of choice. Then mix the dough with your hands. Let the dough rest for about 5 minutes covered, then begin forming balls. You can use parchment paper and place the dough inside of it.

“Just kind of press down so it doesn’t stick to anything, and now you have a nice, little disc that you can use to fill with your cheese,” said Amy Spencer with the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County.

Place the cheese in the middle of the dough and fold it over until the cheese is fully enclosed. Next step, fry them until they’re golden brown.

“If you can hear that, you kind of hear that the outside is really crispy and the inside is really soft, which is what we’re going for with this,” Spencer said.

Then, wait 5 to 10 minutes to let them cool down before eating. You can top them with honey, butter or some flaky salt.

Every year, the library celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month to honor the contributions of Hispanic Americans to this country.

“It’s not just to learn how to make arepas, it’s to learn about the culture, talk about how this food is eaten and the different ways, and then create a sense of ‘we’re not so different.’ We all celebrate in the kitchen,” Alvarez said.

The first class will be held this Saturday at 11 a.m. at the library. The second will be on Wednesday, October 12 at 5:30 p.m.

Registration for both classes is full, but you can join the waitlist. Just stop by the library at 305 Wick Ave. in Youngstown, call the library at 330-744-8636 or visit the library’s website for the event on Saturday, October 8 or for the event on Wednesday, October 12.