Brazilian cocktails like the caipirinha have made more of splash in the U.S. than the country's delicious foods, but that may be about to change. One of Brazil's beautiful, irresistible breakfast dishes, the tapioca crepe, is heating up at restaurants on the East and West coasts. If you only know tapioca from the pudding you ate as a kid, and from bubble teas and boba cocktails, it's time to discover the joys of the tapioca crepe. Typically eaten in the morning or as a snack, the crepes are made from cassava (yuca) starch that's sifted in a frying pan and folded over to create a delicate but chewy pocket. Inside, you'll find flavorful fillings from traditional Brazilian coalho cheese to non-traditional ingredients like chicken stroganoff. Here, five spins we're digging right now.
Oca, New York City
Oca has a roster of inventive tapioca crepes on its menu, including the No. 6., filled with wild salmon, pumpkin seeds, avocado, cream of cashew nut and wasabi. Double down and order the No. 9 for dessert; it's stufed with coalho cheese, banana, cinnamon and raw honey. Photo courtesy of oca_nyc/Instagram.
Samba, San Diego
San Diego’s Samba cafe specializes in Brazilian cuisine ranging from the stuffed empanada-like pastels to 10 kinds of tapioca crepes. The crepe fillings run the gamut from chicken stroganoff to a vibrant mix of artichoke, pesto sauce, cheese and sundried tomatoes. Photo courtesy of Samba/Facebook.
Market Ipanema, New York City
Market Ipanema serves up photogenic tapioca crepes colored with ingredients like avocado or strawberry. The combinations include a green crepe filled with avocado, tomatoes and cashew cream, and a red crepe with strawberries and hazelnut cacao cream. Photos above and top courtesy of bayerpr/Instagram.
Cafe de Casa, San Francisco
Cafe de Casa's dozen-plus varieties of tapioca crepes include a breakfast version with bacon and eggs, and sweet crepe called the Cartola filled with bananas, mozzarella and cinnamon. Photo courtesy of cafedecasasf/Instagram.
Beach Bistro 96, New York City
At the new oceanside Brazilian cafe Beach Bistro 96 in Rockaway Beach, Queens, you can choose from seven standout tapioca crepes, ranging from a savory option with chicken, corn and Brazilian catupiry cheese, to addictive dessert versions like the one with strawberries, condensed milk and a shower of coconut flakes. Photo courtesy of Beach Bistro 96/Facebook.
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