Cuñapés are a kind of cheesy bread snack that is very popular across South America. Varieties exist in Brazil (known as pão de queijo), Argentina (chipa or pan que queso), Ecuador (pan de yuca) and even in Colombia (pan de bono).
Of course they all vary slightly, but what they all have in common is that they are made of Yam (or Cassava) flour and fresh cheese – which makes them incredibly chewy and moist in the middle.
They are hugely popular in the northeastern regions of Bolivia (known as ‘the orient’) – but they are also very common and inexpensive in other places like La Paz, where I’m from.
If you are a Bolivian living abroad like me, Yam Flour is a commodity that you will ask all relatives visiting you – TO BRING WITH – OR ELSE…. and you will search high and low for places that sell this gold-dust near you.
Once you have the Yam Flour, you are sorted. I buy and stock up on mine in large ‘exotic food’ wholesalers (like the Wing Yip Supermarket) – but I have also found it in health shops. If you are in the US, any Latin American Food store or places like Jungle Jim’s definitely sell them (knows as Harina de Yuca)
I often make these at home since my husband and kids love them (even though my British husband tends to commit the food-sin of covering them in Marmite… ) but, also because they are so easy and fun to make with the kids.
Now, the usual (boring) ones look like these:
…but it’s the summer holidays and in order to keep the kids busy and entertained we made these today!
Here’s the super simple recipe!
- 1 cup of Yam Flour
- 1 block of Feta cheese
- 1 cup of cheddar cheese
- 2 eggs
- Pre heat your oven to 200C
- Grease your baking tray
- Grate the feta cheese
- Mix the flour, cheeses and 1 1/2 eggs – keep one yolk on the side
- Knead until it comes together and you can handle it and make small balls (you may need to add a bit more flour if too runny or a splash of milk if too dry)
- Roll out balls (or be creative and make animals!)
- Paint them with the yolk you set aside
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden on the top
- They are best eaten straight out of the oven!