In the midst of the poverty and heat of Paraguay on an estancia, or ranch, in the department of Concepcióón along the Tagatiya river, a group of travelers are taught to make chipa, an iconic Paraguayan food staple. Chipa, a pre-Colombian bread, is made from manioc flour, lard, milk, eggs, salt and anise. Long before wheat was introduced in the region the indigenous Guaraníí depended on manioc for sustenance. Manioc is a calorie-rich tuber, native to the Americas, found in many Paraguayan dishes such as mbeju, soups and sauces. The chipa is traditionally baked atop banana leaves in a brick and clay oven called tatakuáá. While making the chipa the travelers are also introduced to tereréé, a cold herbal tea, and cocido negro, a coffee like beverage also made from the South American herbal tea called yerba mate.
Making Chipas in Paraguay
sanra ritten, a native Californian, and her boyfriend, chef Diego Felix, run the restaurant Casa Felix in their home in Buenos Aires. They frequently travel around South America conducting culinary investigations. Ritten is also a staff photojournalist for the English-language newspaper The Argentimes and freelances for food and travel magazines abroad.
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sanra ritten; Making Chipas in Paraguay. Gastronomica 1 May 2009; 9 (2): 19–24. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/gfc.2009.9.2.19
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