These Cheesy Brazilian Snacks Are Addicting As Hell


Pão de queijo is a cheesy Brazilian snack-sized breakfast food that works best with a shot of espresso in the morning. In Portuguese, pão de queijo translates to “cheese bread.” You can find these popular breakfast rolls at Brazilian restaurants all over the place. In Brazil, they’re either industrialized, found in grocery stores, bakeries or freshly made. Once you bite into one of these pillow snacks, you’ll be hooked. Pão de queijo are naturally gluten-free since they’re made with tapioca flour instead of all-purpose flour.

Even though they’re referred to as a bread, they’re technically more along the lines of a pastry in appearance with the addition of eggs, salt, vegetable oil and cheese. The tapioca flour gets mixed with hot milk and the dough turns a gelatinous and sticky texture. You’ll need to keep a bowl of water nearby to prevent everything from sticking together. Pão de queijo are slightly sour because of the fermented tapioca flour that’s used. You’ll end up with a tray of crispy, hollow puffs, which are perfectly light for breakfast. 

When they’re fresh out of the oven these addicting snacks are at their prime. Each roll has a crispy cheesy exterior and a spongy and soft interior. This recipe by Bon Appétit calls for fresh farmer’s cheese and Parmesan, but you can substitute any cheese you’d like for a more subtle or bold flavor. 

While pão de queijo can be found throughout Latin America, it’s said to have roots in Minas Gerais in Southeastern Brazil. The Brazilian president, Itamar Franco, helped to popularize his home state’s favorite cheesy snack on a national level. Today these tapioca rolls have spread like wildfire in bakeries across the U.S. and Japan. The fact that they’re gluten-free makes them even more relevant in the food industry today. The next time you’re at a Brazilian steakhouse or Brazilian bakery be on the lookout. Pão de queijo is in a league of its own.