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NOVEMBER 22, 2011 3:57 PM

Make Your Own Brazilian Cheese Puffs



John Uher

       Each week, Brazilian Specialty Foods in North Bergen, N.J., which I write about this week, makes about 24,000 pão de queijo, Brazilian cheese puffs that are chewy on the inside and lightly crisp on the outside. Mixing, shaping and baking pounds of the gooey dough would require too much time and labor for the 15 Brazilian restaurants in New York City that buy the company’s bread.

But baking a small batch at home is no trouble. 

       The golden little breads are chewy because they are made with tapioca starch, not flour. What makes them savory is the mix of Parmesan and pecorino Romano cheeses. In Brazil, they are eaten with cafezinho, a tiny cup of coffee, with wine, and as appetizers preceding dinners.

       Unless they are eaten warm, they can get too stiff, said Getúlio Santos, the president of Brazilian Specialty Foods, which also sells Ki Delicia brand frozen pão de queijos. 

But they won’t last too long once they come out of the oven.

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