One of the benefits of living in such a diverse neighborhood is getting introduced to new foods I wouldn’t have tried or known existed before. Like Pao de Queijo, or Pan de Yuca – otherwise known as “Cheesy chewy bread of amazement”. This bread tastes like it’s full of gluten because it’s so chewy and moist, but it’s made entirely of yuca flour and has been forever and ever. This is one of those things that make you say, “These are gluten-free?”…”For reals?!”
One disclaimer is that normally these are not made in a dedicated bakery, so there is a chance for cross-contamination. So, those with extremely sensitive allergies might want to steer clear.
Apparently these little babies have been getting some press lately (see Brazilian Cheezy-Poofs on Serious Eats).
Around Astoria I know two places that have them, the aptly named New York Pao de Queijo on 31st Ave and 30th St and La Casa del Pan. At New York Pao de Queijo they also have fillings for the bread like catupiri (a soft cheese), ham and cheese, caramel (?), and guava paste. Plus they have flan and rice pudding for dessert.
At La Casa del Pan they have the normal Pao de Queijo and ones that are shaped like bagels, plus arepas and a window display of pre-cooked bacon.
In the city I know they have this bread at Big Booty Bread Company and a lot of other places, as chronicled by Always Hungry. I think I’ll have to take a field trip to Churrascaria Plataforma on 49th St. sometime soon.
Get these on your table and in your tummy as soon as possible.