What is Chipa? Actually don’t answer that, let’s start with a “What is Paraguay?” Well you’ll never really know unless you go there, so I went there. As I caught a local bus across the border from Brazil (Foz do Iguacu to Ciudad del Este) I did ponder on why I was going there. But only for a second. I was loving it. You will know if you have read my blog that I loved Asuncion, Paraguay’s sprawling yet still unknown capital city. But before my wandering pulse even took me to Asuncion, I had tried Chipa.
Some kind of Paraguayan bread. OK so a bit more detail on it:
– Chipa originated in Paraguay (and has since spread to places like Argentina)
– It’s main ingredients are water, egg, salt, cheese and onion.
– There are lots of different varieties to try with added ingredients (e.g. peppers, cinnamon)
– You can eat it hot or cold (hot is better)
One thing to note for fellow travellers here is that Paraguay is CHEAP. They don’t even really know about ripping foreigners off yet. Yet there is a lot to see and do in Asuncion.
My first Chipa experience was on a bus. From Ciudad del Este to Asuncion. A lady got on at one of the stops in the middle of the countryside and was selling them. The Chipa cost me just 2,000 Guarani for each Chipa, but you can find the much cheaper if you go really rural or local. This works out at about 40 cents each, but you can get 4 or 5 for $1 if you really look around and bargain.
The name of the bakery was on the bag – Santo Domingo Bakery/Chiperia. As I chatted in broken Spanish to the girl beside me, showing to her simultaneously my Irlanda del Norte flag she obviously mistook me for some kind of lunatic. I was just a passionate traveller. Her standout question was “why are you in Paraguay?” as if to say “you must have a reason to be here, nobody really bothers coming here”. And it’s true. Check out your mates who have travelled in South America. Ask them if they went to Paraguay or Suriname and in most cases they will say “no”. Paraguay isn’t popular at all. Somehow I cannot fathom why. It’s really worth it and the Chipa is an awesome cheap travellers snack.
As I parted ways with Paraguay I munched a final Chipa in Asuncion knowing I had loved and embraced the local bread with aplomb. Tasty stuff…
Friday’s Featured Food is an ongoing regular feature on Don’t Stop Living – a lifestyle of travel. If you have a meal, bar, pub, restaurant, brand or idea that you would like reviewed or featured on Friday’s Featured Food, please get in touch via my contacts page or my advertising page. I’d love to hear from you! I’d also love a free beer and a meal. Cheers!