Cheesy Pão for Pesach

pandequeijoPão de Queijo (“bread of cheese” in Portuguese) is a gluten-free cheese bread, originally from Brazil. It is usually served in snack-sized bread balls, and is eaten at breakfast with coffee or as a side snack. The bread itself is based on cassava flour instead of wheat flour.

Because it contains no wheat, Pão de Queijo is ideal for those on a gluten-free diet or who are observing Passover.cassava

Cassava, also known as “yuca” in Spanish (not to be confused with the yucca plant), is a root of a plant. When cassava is dried and ground up into a powder or pearls, it is called tapioca. A chewy cassava-based bread is a nice change of pace during Passover when bread-stuffs can be heavy and crumbly.

CaciqueQB50

Brazilian cheese balls may contain a number of cheeses. One traditional Hispanic cheese that is sometimes available kosher is Queso Blanco or Queso Fresco. This fresh, bright white cow’s milk cheese works as a mild table cheese for its milky flavor, but it is also used “para freir” (for frying). It melts, yet maintains its shape, meaning it doesn’t run or separate under heat. Cacique’s Queso Blanco is certified kosher dairy by Rabbi Yisroel Kelemer of Three Line K Kosher in Beverly Hils, CA.

Some recipes for Pão de Queijo call for feta, Monterey Jack, mozzarella or parmesan, all readily available in a kosher format.

cheesenrolls2When I worked at Pomegranate kosher specialty supermarket in Brooklyn (Midwood) a few years ago, we sold kosher for Passover Cheese N’ Rolls, made by Kessem. They were cholov yisroel with certification under Arugas Habasham. Cheese N’ Rolls are sold online at www.allfreshkosher.com. I hope to see them in the Passover section in stores as well.

Stacy Viera, a food photographer, offers a Passover cheese bread recipe which uses either mozzarella or parmesan: http://jewishfoodexperience.com/recipes/pao-de-queijo/

Elizabeth Bland
The Cheese Mistress

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