The chipa guazu is a cake made with corn grains, and one of the 70 varieties of “chipa”, a food that is original of Paraguay but also widely eaten in parts of Northeast of Argentina. Its taste is considered delicious by many and is often served in “asados” (social meetings where diverse cuts of grilled cow meat, pork and sausages are eaten, the Paraguayan version of the American barbecue).
Like every meal of Paraguayan gastronomy, and also Northeastern Argentina, it contains, for reasons that are historically refuted, a high value in calories.
Origin of the name
The “chipa guasu” owes its name to the conjunction of two words. The first, “chipa” refers generically to a diverse group of cakes that has corn as a base for its preparation and that is part of the “Tyra”, a Guaraní term that names every food consumed to accompany the "mate cocido", milk or coffee, or prepared just to be an addition to other dishes. The second word that intervenes in the composition of the name, “guasu”, means “big” by which it can be inferred that “chipa guasu”, is the biggest of all “chipas”.
Chopped onions, water and salt, are boiled in a pot for about 10 minutes, and then let cool down. The pork fat is whipped until it turns creamy and a much lighter color, then the eggs are added one by one along pieces of fresh cheese, all without stop whipping. The boiled onions are added to this creamy preparation, and also the grains of corn (that have been previously mollified) and the milk.
Mix all together and the result is a paste that is put in a buttered or floured oven tray.
It’s cooked in the oven, at low heat (around 200°C) for about an hour and a half.
A variant of “chipa guasu” may not contain eggs, in which case it requires more milk.
“Chipa guasu” is prepared similar to sopa paraguaya, substituting corn grains for corn flour.
According to some scholars in Paraguay, Paraguayan popular gastronomy established itself as a small family industry after the Paraguayan War, fought between 1864 and 1870 between Paraguay and the Triple Alliance composed of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. Its high caloric content owes to the scarcity of food that plagued the country during and after the conflict. Basic foodstuffs were limited and groceries almost nonexistent, leading to hearty meals intended to provide a full day's nourishment.
- “Tembi’u Paraguay“ JOSEFINA VELILLA DE AQUINO
- “Karú rekó – Antropología culinaria paraguaya”, Margarita Miró Ibars