Have you had the pleasure of traveling to a South American country of Brazil before? If you love food and have ever spent time in this Latin American giant, you will undoubtedly be familiar with one of the country’s favorite foods: pao de queijo.
This food, whose literal translation to English is “cheese bread,” is an incredibly popular snack that has gone from a regional treat that was enjoyed during tough economic times during Brazil’s period as a Portuguese colony to a staple food of the country’s cuisine.
The city of Ouro Preto in Brazil’s Minas Gerais region was the birthplace of this food. It came about in the 1700s when the region grew exponentially due to the discovery of gold in the area, leaving a food shortage.
Resourceful residents turned to starch from the cassava root, a common tuber that has been used in the region since ancient times, to make a flour base for bread.
Adding cheese on the inside, a delicious new food was created. This staple continues to be enjoyed throughout the country as both a snack and a breakfast food, where it’s commonly enjoyed with coffee.
This cassava and cheese-based bread is a great example of how a once-humble food can become a beloved symbol of a country’s cuisine. Be sure to try it on your next trip to Brazil!