Rio de Janeiro w/ the boys..
And the Corcovado watching over us in the distance…
It all started in Brasil….
Chef Joe was born and raised in Brasil, surrounded by the normal foods available to any Brasilian - pão de queijo, açaí bowls and smoothies made from exotic local fruits. This all changed at age 14 with a move to the USA - different language, different culture, but most importantly, different food.
No pão de queijo, no açaí bowls and the smoothies were usually made from bananas and strawberries. Not exactly exotic. And what was pão de queijo made out of anyway?
Fast forward to the 1997. The internet slowly divulged its secrets, including the recipe for pão de queijo. After years perfecting his recipe, Joe was ready to bring it out of the kitchen. His impatient children had him experimenting with different formats to serve the pão de queijo, not wanting to wait for 25 minutes for the pão de queijo to be ready. After many many tries, he arrived at a solution - a waffle iron from Hong Kong, that created quick and easy pão de queijo waffles.
Renamed Puffy Waffles, these treats are available in the streets of Santa Cruz, for now, and will be coming to the local grocery store soon.
As for the açaí bowls, Joe blends each batch with a variety of the exotic fruits from Brasil, importing frozen fruit pulp from the Amazon. The açaí bowls come blended with passion fruit (maracujá), cupuaçu, acerola, cajá, cajú (the fruit from the cashew nut), guava (goiaba), and more. Each batch is carefully crafted to balance the flavors of the fruit, with a taste most folks in Santa Cruz agree is the best around.