Chipa guazú (sometimes spelled chipa guasú) is one of the many varieties of chipa consumed by Paraguayans. There are more than 70 different kinds of chipa! The shapes and composition vary, some are stuffed … Like many dishes of Paraguay, chipa may also be found in neighboring Argentina.
The institution of chipa
Chipa is Paraguayan bread!
No party takes place without chipa guazú which is often served during the asados, the Paraguayan version of the barbecue, to accompany the sausages, the pork ribs or the beautiful cuts of grilled beef.
“Chipa” is a Guaraní word, the official language of Paraguay along with Spanish, which refers to both cakes and breads. “Guazú” means big, which tells us that chipa guazú is the biggest of the chipas.
The cuisine of Paraguay is considered by some to be very comforting cuisine. It is indeed high in calorie, probably a consequence of the war of the Triple Alliance (1864-1870) against Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, which left the country devastated and affected by famine. The result is a rich, simple and familiar cuisine, providing a feeling of satiety.
Chipa guazú is made from fresh corn kernels, cheese, eggs, oil and milk. No yeast or baking soda are used.
Paraguayan cheese, called quesú paraguái in Guaraní, is typically made in rural areas by artisans. In the countryside, it is the only type of cheese consumed, while in the cities, there may be a little more choice.
Queso paraguayo is made from whole and raw cow’s milk, and rennet. Rennet is extracted from the abomasum, the stomach performing enzymatic digestion in young ruminants.
At first, the raw milk is put in contact with the rennet which makes it coagulate and produce the curd. The curd is then “broken” and then pressed to extract the whey. When all the liquid is extracted, the cheeses are shaped and stored on wooden shelves. They are ready the next day and can be kept for 45 days.
It is an unsalted cheese, tender, with a slight acid note. It is very creamy and rich in nutrients since it is made without any cooking from raw whole milk.
When it is fresh, it is white in color and has a light flavor that pairs well with anything sweet. Paraguayans like to eat it with dulce de mamon, guava paste or molasses for dessert. With time, it becomes yellow, greasier, hardens and develops an increasingly strong odor.
That being said, let’s get to the point: what can you use as a substitute?
To made chipa guazú, sopa paraguaya or vori vori, it is possible to use a soft or fresh cheese. For chipa, or mbejú, you should use an older cheese, or a mixture of mozzarella and parmesan for example.
This is a round shaped wood oven, made with bricks and/or earthenware. It is still very present in the countryside of Paraguay. Literally, tatakua means hole (kua) of fire (tata).
Of course, even if the taste is better with a wood oven, feel free to use a standard home oven to make this recipe.
Chipa guazú is usually eaten hot or warm but you can also enjoy it cold.
Hetereí! Delicious (in guaraní)!
- 8 ears of corn , hulled
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup sunflower oil
- 2 small onions ,chopped
- 10 oz. queso paraguayo (Paraguayan cheese)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Blend the corn until it reaches the consistency of oatmeal.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and fry the onions for 5 minutes or until they become translucent.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the beater attachment, combine the eggs, milk, cheese, onions, salt and pepper (to taste) to obtain a smooth and slightly foamy consistency.
- Add the blended corn and remaining oil and mix well.
- Grease a 8-inch square pan and pour the mixture.
- Bake and cook for about 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.