Vanessa Jahara, raised in Rio de Janeiro, grew up snacking on pão de queijo — a beloved Brazilian little cheese bread. The puffy rounds, crispy on the outside, cheesy, and stretchy inside, are often served at breakfast or after school. Jahara, who now lives in Watertown, put a spin on her grandmother’s recipe and produces the tasty orbs under the label Vita Pura. Working at the food incubator CommonWealth Kitchen in Dorchester, Jahara makes the treat with Brazilian yucca flour and in flavors that include Parmesan & Cheddar, Parmesan & Bacon, Jalapeno & Parmesan, and others ($7.99 to $9.99 for 21). Gluten-free and mildly salted, find the bags in the freezer aisle and bake the puffs until they’re golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Served warm, pop them in your mouth for an hor’doeuvre, or include some on cheese or charcuterie boards. You can easily slice them in half and place in thinly sliced prosciutto, a veggie or a spread, or serve a basketful alongside a steak or roast beef. The pleasure comes from its texture as well as flavor. Available at Foodie’s Urban Market stores; Pemberton Farms Marketplace, 2225 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, 617- 491-2244; Russo’s, 560 Pleasant St., Watertown, 617-923-1500; Marty’s Fine Wines, 675 Washington St., Newton, 617-332-1230; and Whole Foods Market locations.
ANN TRIEGER KURLAND
Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at email@example.com.