One of the most outstanding contributions of São Paulo to Brazilian cooking is a cheese named after its manufacturer: Catupiry®. I have to confess, during my first weeks in São Paulo I kept coming across the term catupiry in menus and signs. Frango con catupiry, what the hell could that possible be?, I wondered. Better safe than sorry, I did avoid it until I found out what it was!
Strictly speaking, catupiry is a type of requeijão, a creamy cheese that can be spread over food. It is made from the skin of curdled milk.
Catupiry cheese was invented in 1911 by an Italian couple. In 1934 they opened a factory in São Paulo that became so succesful that the name Catupiry became synonymous, in the Portuguese language, of requeijão. The quality of the real Catupiry outshines the competition. Often you will be served a substitute even if the name catupiry appears on the menu.
On the company’s website you can find out more about the history of the cheese.
Catupiry cheese is often used in pizzas and other dishes such as prawns with catupiry. Do go out and taste it whenever you have the chance.