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Something Unique! Here are 10 Types of South American Bread

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Something Unique! Here are 10 Types of South American Bread

Bread is a food that many people know. This food can be found in various countries, including in South America . South American food itself gets a lot of influence from Europe as in Portugal, France, and Italy.

No wonder the bakery products have a European touch, but the ingredients and techniques are more or less adapted to their food traditions.

Native South Americans use corn, wheat, and yucca flours in making breads as varied as the chewy pan de queijo , while European techniques can be found in the Chilean Marraqueta bread. Here are 10 popular types of South American bread.

1. Pão de queijo, Brazil

Po de queijo literally translates to cheese bread. This South American bread originated with the culinary inventions of African slaves when they started using cassava plant residues. Fine white powder or also called starch, is rolled into a ball and baked.

In the past, no cheese was added to the dough, so pão de queijo was simply baked flour. But in the late 19th century, when slavery ended, for the first time other foods became available to Afro-Brazilians . 

In Brazil’s dairy hub, Minas Gerais state, pão de queijo and flour balls are starting to be added with cheese and milk. It is now a popular Brazilian snack or breakfast dish that is also widely consumed in northern Argentina.  

2. Pandebono, Colombia

Pan de bono or pandebono is a delicious cheese bread. This type of South American bread is suitable for breakfast or an afternoon snack accompanied by a cup of coffee. This bread is a simple recipe made using cheese and two types of flour, tapioca flour and corn flour. 

Corn flour called masarepa used to make arepas can be used, as can regular corn flour. To make bread rolls you can also use this special flour mixture called harina de pandebono .

The dough is then shaped like a ball or ring like a donut. These dough ingredients will rise well in the oven even if you don’t use yeast. Generally, pandebono are consumed a few minutes after baking while still warm with hot chocolate. 

Pandebono can be served with other foods. The best appetizers to eat with pandebono are savory foods like meat and other protein-rich foods. The balance of protein with starchy bread makes it filling.

3. Marraqueta, Chile

This Chilean version of the French baguette is called a marraqueta. Not because of shape or texture, but because marraqueta is a cultural feature, a symbol of Chilean gastronomy around the world. That’s why this national icon is instantly recognizable. 

Marraqueta is also known as pan batido and pan frances . It is in the form of a loaf of bread that is cut in half and divided into four smaller pieces, but is still connected by a thin layer of bread that makes it easy to tear into smaller pieces.

This bread has a crispy crust and a light and fluffy filling that is the result of baking rolls in a pot of water in the oven to generate steam. Marraqueta is popular for use in making sandwiches and as a side dish. 

Marraqueta is thought to have first come to Chile thanks to a pair of French brothers named Marraqueta They arrived in the early 19th century. Similar ingredients used in French bread are also used for marraqueta, which is made only with flour, water, yeast, and salt.

4. Pan Amasado, Chili

Although Chileans are lovers of original bread, pan amasado has a special place in their hearts. Not only because of the taste and heat of being baked in the oven, but also because this bread can be easily made at home.

This is why many street vendors are found selling pan amasado using carts on top of which there is a circular clay oven for baking bread. This oven also serves to keep the bread warm on the road. 

Literally translated as “kneaded bread”, pan amasado has a crunchy crust and soft filling, and is best enjoyed immediately after baking while it’s still hot from the oven. 

5. Chip, Paraguay

This simple bread is called chipa . This type of South American bread is the most common staple in Paraguay. This bread is made with cassava flour, anise, and lard. 

This bread comes from the Native American Guarani, who hail from the Amazon region of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay . Chipa comes from a time when wheat was not readily available in South America and cassava was the most commonly used starch in the area. 

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In the colonial era, Jesuit missionaries introduced eggs, milk and cheese to the natives who perfected the chipa recipe. The use of cassava starch and lard gives the bread a crunchy exterior, while the use of anise gives it an unusual and unique taste.

Although chipa is available all year round in Paraguay, it is often prepared and consumed during Easter celebrations. For the people of Paraguay, chipa represents the bread they consume daily which is eaten with various main meals or as a snack.

6. Casabe, Venezuela

Casabe is a traditional Venezuelan thin flatbread. This bread is made with flour from cassava originating from the northern part of South America. In its manufacture, no yeast or fat is used, as a result the bread has a very crunchy texture.

The delicacy of this traditional bread has a distinctive taste. It is generally eaten with other foods and is usually eaten as a complement to other dishes, usually stews and soups. Plain casabe is very versatile and can be added sweet or savory.

Similar to tortillas, casabe are marinated and stuffed with different ingredients or cut into small pieces and served with various sauces. This simple bread has been praised for its health benefits, is rich in fiber and minerals, and as such, is slowly gaining popularity outside of South America.

7. Chachitos, Venezuela

This type of South American bread comes from Venezuela. Cachitos are a Venezuelan food similar to croissants , and these breads are often filled with ham and cheese. Chacitos have origins that are still a mystery.

Some attribute this bread to the arrival of Portuguese and Italian bakers in the early 20th century. Others believe the bread appeared in Caracas in 1940 in the kitchen of an Italian baker named Pietroluchi Pancaldi in Lusiteña.

Cachitos are a staple in Venezuelan cuisine. Generally, this bread is eaten during breakfast hours, but can also be eaten throughout the day. In Venezuela, some bakeries have confirmed that the smell of fresh Cachitos is in the air when residents wake up in the morning.

8. Pan de Yuca, Colombia

Pan de Yuca is a bread made from yuca, which is another name for cassava root. The root starch is extracted and dried into a powder known as tapioca starch or tapioca starch. These small buns have a crunchy outside and soft and stretchy inside.

This type of bread is a popular street food in southern Colombia and in Ecuador. Almost every Latin country has some variation of this type of cheese bread which has many different names and variations of ingredients. 

The southern Colombian version is made mainly of tapioca flour, cheese, eggs, and sometimes butter or cream. Usually pan de yuca is served in Colombia as a coffee-time snack with hot chocolate, but this bread is also a great appetizer.

As soon as it is removed from the oven, this bread can be served immediately. It can also be served with a salad or soup as a simple light lunch. This bread can be a delicious substitute for biscuits.

9. Pebete, Argentina & Uruguay

Pebete which is also called pan of Vienna is a delicious bread that occupies the highest position in the small sandwich category among Argentines and Uruguayans. This typical bread from Argentinian and Uruguayan cuisine is made from durum wheat flour.

The texture is close to brioche , the shape is oval and the crust is thin. Most likely the origin of the name of this sandwich bread comes from the acronym PBT, which is short for pan blanco tostado or toasted white bread.

Any sandwich made with pebete bread is usually called ‘pebete’ followed by the name of the filling, such as pebete de queso (pebete with cheese) or pebete de jamón y queso (pebete with ham and cheese). The most popular is pebete ham or salami and cheese with tomatoes and mayonnaise.

10. Pan Chuta, Peru

This type of South American bread originates from the city of Oropesa, known as the City of Bread, which is just south of Cusco. This bread is about 31 cm in diameter and is seasoned with anise seeds, which give it a distinctly sweet licorice -like taste . 

Pan chuta is baked in a traditional clay oven. This bread recipe has been passed down from generation to generation. Pan chuta has become a staple in Peru and is eaten with Cusqueñan cheese. Usually this bread is a gift that is brought to relatives when traveling to the Cusco area. 

South American bread types are unique in that they combine local ingredients, such as yuca or cassava, with ingredients commonly used in European bread making. Likewise with the technique which is a blend of local and European techniques.

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