A Chipa for Every Taste
Chipa is not a one note dish. Some of the most widely available variations of chipa include:
Chipitas or Chipa piru Chipitas are miniature versions of chipas. They’re small rings of chipa dough about two inches in diameter. They are dry, crunchy, and highly addictive. The guaram name, chipa piru, means skinny chipa. If you wish to take chipa back to your home country, this is the best option as they keep well and can be stored in the freezer.
Chipa so’o and Chipa ryguazu These are chipas filled with beef (so o) or chicken (ryguazu). Often the dough itself is heavier on the corn flour than regular chipa, creating a texture that is vaguely reminiscent of a dry tamale.
Chipa asador Chipa asador is cooked over an open fire and therefore mainly consumed in the winter. The dough is similar to regular chipa but with more starch and less corn flour. It is pressed around the end of a wooden dowel or broomstick resulting in what looks like half of a giant q-tip. This is slowly turned above hot coals until the dough is cooked through, resulting in satisfyingly thin and crispy edges and a warm chewy interior.
Chipa candoi Chipa candoi is prepared with crushed peanuts and can be either sweet or salty. It is most often seen in the countryside, though it is occasionally available in urban areas as well.
Chipa’s roots originate from Paraguay’s indigenous community where it played an important role in religious ceremonies. To this day Paraguayans regularly partake in several rituals revolving around the preparation and distribution of chipa. Chipa is given out to friends and family during Easter week as well as at the end of prayer sessions known as rezos which are held during funerals and at regular intervals thereafter. On the Day of the Cross (Kurusu Ara), chipa is used as a decorative element hung from the canopy built to enshrine the cross. More information on the indigenous roots and religious significance of chipa, as well as chipa recipes, can be found in “Alimentacion y Religiosidad Paraguay: Chipa, Pan Sagrado” by Margarita Miro Ibars.
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