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|Cheese bun (Chipá)|
|Alternative names||Pão de queijo|
|Course||Breakfast or snack|
|Place of origin||Paraguay, some regions of Argentina and Brazil|
|Serving temperature||with mate tea|
|Main ingredients||Cassava or corn flour, cheese (usually Minas cheese)|
|Cookbook:Cheese bun (Chipá) Cheese bun (Chipá)|
Cheese buns, cheese breads, pão de queijo or originally known as chipá are a variety of small, baked, cheese-flavored rolls, a popular snack and breakfast food in Brazil ( in the state of Minas Gerais), Argentina (in some regions) and Paraguay. Its origin is uncertain; it is speculated[by whom?] that the recipe has existed since the eighteenth century in Minas Gerais (Brazil), but it became popular throughout the country after the 1950s. It is also widely eaten in northern Argentina. In countries where the snack is popular, it is inexpensive and often sold from streetside stands by vendors carrying a heat-preserving container. In Brazil, it is very commonly found in groceries, supermarkets and bakeries, industrialized and/or freshly made. In Paraguay, it is found everywhere, from street vendors to exclusive restaurants (as the country conserves most of its guaraní culture). The original name is from Guarani chipa (Guaraní pronunciation: [tʃiˈpa]). It is also known as pão de queijo (Portuguese pronunciation: [pɐ̃w̃ dʒi ˈke(j)ʒu]), 'cheese bread' in Portuguese, or chipa, chipacito or chipita and in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, the term cuñapé (Guarani) is often used. The pan de yuca in Ecuador and Colombia and pan de bono in Colombia are both very similar to chipa.
Cheese buns are distinctive not only because they are made of cassava or corn flour, but also because the inside is chewy and moist. Its size may range from 2 cm to 15 cm (1 to 6 inches) in diameter and approximately 5 cm (2 inches) in height. In Paraguay and Argentina, smaller chipá can also be found, as well as "mini pães de queijo" in Brazil. Also varieties of stuffed pães de queijo with catupiry, hot and melted goiabada, doce de leite and other variations can be found in Brazil. However, Paraguay has the most wide variety. Some of the most popular are "chipa asador" or "chipa kavure" (in guaraní language), "chipa so'o", "chipa piru", "chipa cuatro quesos", and other 70 varieties.
Chipá or Cuñapé has been prepared in the Guarani region (northern Argentina, Paraguay, south-eastern Bolivia and areas of Brazil) since humans settled in the area. During inception, the Guarani people prepared it only with cassava starch and water. After the arrival of the colonists and Jesuit missionaries, and with the introduction of cattle, chickens and new products derived from this livestock (like cheese and eggs), chipá began to gradually evolve into the widely used recipe of the early 21st century.
During the second half of the 20th century, migration within South America has increased consumption of pão de queijo and chipás in large cities such as São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Buenos Aires and Córdoba, Argentina. In Brazil, the dish became a national sensation in the 1950s.
The most frequent variety of chipá is made from cassava starch, milk, cheese, eggs and butter or oil (occasionally, anise seeds are added). The dough is usually formed into small horseshoe shapes or rings. The lightness of the cassava starch, which is finely milled, gives the bread a special texture. Cuñape uses the same ingredients as chipá but in different proportions.
Pão de queijo are formed into small balls, around 3-5 centimeters in diameter. The cassava root produces a very powerful starch which is key to the size and texture of the pão de queijo; unlike other types of 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.
One can knead pão de queijo in a mixer with a hook attachment or do it manually by hand. Once the mixture reaches a doughy consistency, it's vital to roll it into a ball and either bake immediately or freeze it for later use. If left to rest, the dough will virtually liquify. Regardless of whether the bread is made from freshly made dough, or with frozen dough prepared at a prior cooking session, the final pão de queijo will be the same size and texture.
In the Guaraní region, the chipás are often baked in smaller doughnuts or buns that are called chipa'í or chipacitos. These are sold in small paper bags by street sellers of big cities and small towns. Every variety of manioc and corn flour bread is known in Paraguay and Northeast of Argentina as chipa and mbeju, this also originally from Paraguay. In the preparation, yeast is not used, so in spite of the high temperatures of the region, it can be preserved for many days. It is a festive food and can be found in every popular religious celebration.
Other common variants in Paraguay include the chipa guasu or chipá guazú ("chipa grande", "big chipa" in English), made with corn flour in its fresh state (clog)[clarification needed], one of the most usual dishes at the Holy Friday table during the Lent period because it is meat-free; the chipa caburé or chipá mbocá (cooked around a stick, in consequence it doesn't have the spongy inner center) and the chipa so'ó, filled with ground meat. There are other varieties of chipa with different ingredients; chipa manduvi (made with a mix of corn flour and peanut), chipá avatí and chipa rora (made of the skin of the seed of corn after being strained, like a whole-wheat bread).
In Brazil, pão de queijo is a popular breakfast dish and snack. Made of cassava starch, a large number of consumers prefer to buy the mix and bake the bread at home, rather than buying it ready-made; however, pão de queijo continues to be widely sold at snack bars and bakeries. Pão de queijo can also be bought frozen at supermarkets for baking, with brands such as Forno de Minas, Casa do Pão de Queijo and many others featuring as producers. In Brazil, cheese puff mix packages are easily found in most supermarkets, with brands such as Yoki and Hikari dominating the market. A continuing growth exists for pre-prepared products, with brand availability depending on the particular supermarket.
Called cuñapé, they are made of either cassava or maize flour. Cuñapés are usually baked in the mornings and sold later on the streets, while being transported in polystyrene containers. Such vendors can also be found in bus terminals and near popular areas of the cities and even rural towns. A medium-sized piece of cuñape generally sells (as of 2006) for roughly 25 cents (in American dollars).
Pandebono is a type of Colombian bread made of corn flour, cassava starch, cheese and eggs. Traditionally, it is consumed while still warm with hot chocolate a few minutes after baking. It is very popular in the Colombian department of Valle del Cauca. Commonly known as the Colombian bagel. Pan de yuca (Spanish for Cassava bread) is made of cassava starch and cheese, and is typical of southern Colombia and the Coast Region of Ecuador. An 1856 watercolor by Manuel María Paz shows cassava bread being prepared by members of the Saliva people in Casanare Province.
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