Adopting many different names, the chipá (accentuating the last vowel) or chipa, or even cheese bread, which is the way the brazilians call it (pão de queijo), we know this amazing cassava bread from a Latin American aborigin-Spanish mix, it mixes an ancestral recipe made of manioc by the guaraníes (adopts different names such as cassava, yuca or mandioca), and mixes it wirh eggs and different types of local cheeses, cultural legacy brought to the Americas by the Europeans.
It is said that the origin of the chipá is the mbujape, a bread elaborated by the indigenous guaraníesgrinding raw yuca, and then cooking it wrapped in corn leaves, laachira or banana and jagarundí (a medicinal plant with an aniseed flavour) on tanimbu (ashes); when heated, the starch of the manioc gets a sticky contexture, this consistency aquired is called chipa in quechua, that alzo means caked.
With the cultural exchange produced between Europeans and South-American Aborigns during the expeditions made in Río de la Plata in the 16th Century A.D, and the Franciscan and Jesuit Missions, who settled in the heart of the la Cuenca del Plata (the Basin of El Plata), nowadays Argentina, Brasil, Paraguay and Uruguay, new products from animal origin like milk, cheese, and eggs, were incorporated in The Americas' diet, thus shaping this wonderful Chipá, an exponent of the Hispanic-Guaraní heritage miscegenation.
One of the first ever records is the binnacle of Ulrich Schmidl, a german chronicler, who will accompany Pedro de Mendoza and Juan de Ayolas in the referred expeditions.
Its cooking has been evolving as well, being now made in clay bowls of different shapes and measures, the most traditional of which made in tatakua -a clay oven-, keeping the centuries old tradition to this day.
The chipá is valued by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a heritage shared by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. You can hear about chipa in Praguay, chipá in Argentina and Uruguay, pão de queijo in Brazi, pan de Bono in Ecuador and Colombia, pan de yuca in Venezuela, cuñapé in Bolivia, and Che Chipá in Barcelona.
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