Pão de Queijo: where can I get some Brazillian cheese buns?
The intern turned up this little biz-related story about a cheese bun I'd never heard of:
P*DE*Q, which makes a tapioca-based cheese bread known also as pão de queijo or chipa, will be joined by Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin at 10 a.m. on Oct. 26 as they cut the ribbon on its P*DE*Q Corner located at 1940 N. Echo St across from Fresno High School.
The company expects that up to 100,000 of the ready-to-bake, gluten-freen treats will come out of the 1,400-square-foot building each week upon opening, with potential sales in the millions.
The building will move owner Flavia Takahashi-Flores out of a test kitchen and into a store where customers can pick up the crispy treat frozen or fresh or enjoy them with coffee, tea and other beverages that will be sold there.
Pão de queijo? Chipa?
Cheese buns, or cheese breads are a variety of small, baked, cheese-flavored rolls, a popular typical snack and breakfast food in Brazil, and also in nearby regions of Bolivia, Paraguay and northern Argentina. The inexpensive snack is often sold from streetside stands or by vendors carrying a heat-preserving container.
They are known as pão de queijo (Portuguese pronunciation: [pɐ̃w̃ dʒi ˈkejʒu]), 'cheese bread' in Portuguese, and chipá (chipa or chipita) or cuñapé in Guarani, especially in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. The pan de yuca in Ecuador and bolitas de yuca in Colombia are very similar to the chipa.
They are distinctive not only because they are made of cassava manioc or corn flour, but also because the inside is chewy and moist. The cheese of choice is frequently Minas cheese. If poorly done, they may seem uncooked or doughy. Their size may range from 2 cm to 15 cm (1 to 6 inches) in diameter, with about 5 cm (2 inches) of height. In Paraguay and Argentina, smaller chipá can also be found.
And most interestingly,
The cassava root produces a very powerful starch which is key to the size and texture of the Pão de Queijo. Unlike other bread the recipe calls for no leavening of any kind. Small pockets of air within the dough expand during baking and are contained by the powerful elasticity of the starch paste.
I'm a huge fan of Salgadinhos, which are (typically) deep-fried Brazillian dumpling/buns, but I've never had pão de queijo. Maybe I overlooked them in the bakery case, gravitating to more substantial-seeming fare. But now my appetite is whet; where (besides Fresno) can I get these little cheese buns?