I’ve been challenged by a reader to take on some “real” cheese topics (you know who you are). So yesterday, day 101 of my challenge to be more Brazilian, I ate a nice, big pão de quejo.
Pão de queijo is a dangerous combination of bread and cheese. It is rather delicious in its simplicity, yet something I try and avoid due to its rather obvious impact on my weight.
Pão de queijo consists of two primary ingredients – manioc flour and Minas cheese, a cheese whose origin is the state of Minas de Gerais, both of which is nearly impossible to find in the U.S. This padaria staple comes in two forms – big and you see above and little bite-sized nuggets. The bite-sized version is sold frozen at grocery stores, and it appears to come in a variety of styles, but they all mostly taste the same to me.
The popularity of pão de queijo in Brazil is second only to rice and beans. It makes a great snack, side dish or quick breakfast. Just don’t get too attached… or you will start to look like one.
If you are outside Brazil and interested in making some pão de queijo yourself, here is a recipe from Sonia Portuguese in both English and Portuguese using tapioca starch and parmesan. Not the same, but probably as close as you are going to get if you are in the U.S. For Brazilians, you just need to go around the corner.