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The word “chipá” (often spelled “chipa”) refers to a family of breads and casseroles made from a combination of mandioca (also known as yuca or tapioca) starch, corn, and cheese. Enjoyed in northeast Argentina and Paraguay, it’s the keystone of a centuries-old food canon that fuses long-standing Guaraní corn dishes with dairy, introduced by Spanish Jesuits. The recipe that follows is the reigning rendition, a simple cheese and yuca bun enjoyed from dawn to dusk, most often alongside a cup of yerba mate.

Featured in: “This Glorious Root Is Northeast Argentina’s Pantry Staple.”

Chipá (Yuca and Cheese Bread)
This fluffy, dairy-rich bun is more than a regional staple—it’s a way of life.
Yield: makes 12 rolls
Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cups milk, plus more as needed
  • 1 large egg
  • 3⅓ cups cassava starch (11½ oz.), plus more as needed
  • 7 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed, plus more for greasing
  • 2½ oz. Argentine sardo cheese (not Italian Pecorino Fiore Sardo), or provolone, cut into ½-in. cubes
  • 2½ oz. Tybo cheese (or Monterey Jack), cut into ½-in. cubes
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste

Instructions

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450°F. Grease a large baking sheet with butter.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and egg. To a large bowl, add the cassava starch and make a well in the center. Pour half of the milk mixture into the well, then use a fork to incorporate some of the starch into the liquid. Add the butter, cheeses, salt, and the remaining liquid, and knead until no butter lumps remain and you have a soft, smooth, nearly dry dough. (If the dough is crumbly, add more milk; if it’s sticky, add more starch.)
  3. Using your hands, roll 1 ounce of the dough into a ping pong-size ball. Transfer to the baking sheet, then repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the balls at least 1 inch apart. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through cooking, until the tops are golden brown and the cheese is oozing slightly, about 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Note: Formed chipá dough can be frozen for up to two months. Bake straight from the freezer, adding about 3 minutes to the cooking time.

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