My family on my father’s side hails from the state of Minas Gerais, where Pão de Queijo (also known as Brazilian cheese bread), originated. From early on, I watched my grandmother (the lady sitting on the left in the photo above), boil the milk, grate the cheese and mix the dough by hand in large wooden bowls. I was fascinated watching her hands roll the dough into little balls that then disappeared into a wood fired oven. Soon, the house would be filled with the most incredible aroma. My six brothers and many cousins would fight to be the first to get to the little breads that were crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Many tongues were burnt in the process. This picture shows part of our large family sitting on the inner porch of my grandparents’ house in Nova Era, Minas Gerais. My mother, who was German, is pictured standing on the right with a toddler in her arms. As you can tell, large family gatherings centered on food were a big part of our lives.
When we moved to Europe for many years, my grandmother would send home-made Pão de Queijo dough to us, packed secretly inside my father’s suitcase, and smuggled through customs. Pão de Queijo was the one thing we all missed while living abroad. It took much begging, but when we moved back, my aunts (the two nuns in the picture) finally taught me the traditional family recipe so that I would never have to go without my favorite treat. What a relief! In their honor, I almost called my products the Nun’s Buns, but then thought better of it.
I am proud that our products are lovingly made using my own family’s recipe.
Just imagine warm cheesy, irresistible little breads that bake up in mere minutes in your own oven at home.
I hope you enjoy them as much as we have for so many, many years.
By the way, I am the little girl standing to the left of my grandmother in the picture.