Sopa paraguaya

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Sopa paraguaya is a traditional Paraguayan food. Literally meaning "Paraguayan soup," sopa paraguaya is similar to corn bread. Corn flour, pig fat, cheese and milk or whey are common ingredients. It is a spongy cake rich in caloric and protein content.

According the Paraguayan folklorist Margarita Miró Ibars, sopa paraguaya is "the product of Guaraní-Spanish syncretism. The Guaraní used to consume doughy food made of corn or manioc flour, wrapped in güembe or banana leaves and cooked between hot ashes. The Spanish introduced cheese, eggs and milk, which were added to the food made by the Guaraníes..."

Sopa is similar to another corn based Paraguayan typical dish, chipahuazu or chipaguazu, except that the latter is made with fresh corn. The consistency is a little bit more like a cheesy souffle and less like a savory cornbread. This dish is often served with a paraguayan beef soup.

History and origin of the name

The most credible story of the origin of the dish involves Don Carlos Antonio Lopez (the founder of the Paraguayan state and president of the country between 1841 and 1862) and one of his cooks (called "machú" in Guarani language).

It is said that the great governor, a famously obese man, liked the a white soup elaborated with milk, Paraguay cheese (fresh cheese), egg and corn flour. One day the machú mistakenly put too much corn flour to the mixture. Near noon, she found herself with two problems: first, the mixture was too...
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