Where can I find Polviho Azedo (sour tapioca flour) in or around Austin?

This flour is necessary to make Brazillian Cheese popovers, but is notoriously difficult to find. CM & WF carry the regular tapioca flour (a/k/a sweet flour), but I cannot find the sour variety. Two Brazillian themed speciality shops have closed. Any suggestions?

8 Answers

  • NirvRush Apr 10, 2021

    Interesting. I’ve been making them with the regular tapioca flour, and they’re delicious. I wasn’t aware of sour tapioca flour. What’s the difference in the final product?

    • Pmd669 Apr 10, 2021

      The sour flour adds a hint of tang in the background which takes the popovers from (really) good to great,

      • itaunas Apr 19, 2021

        It also gives it a better bite (more crispiness, makes a huge difference for biscoitos de povilho) and can rise better. I also like to mix half/half for pao de queijo. Polvilho is made from the liquid from mandioca (not the fiber) — its processed, the liquid squeezed out, and then the starch is settled. At this point polvilho doce is ready after drying, but the azedo is fermented before drying. In Brazil right now its about 3 times more expensive than the regular and with the weak dollar a lot of importers have cut back in their variety, as well as store owners what they stock, so it is harder to get. Supermarkets and non-Brazilian latino markets don’t generally stock it, but you can still get it around Boston at butchers and Brazilian markets. I think its up to $4.99 a bag (in Brazil its about R$4) and the doce is $1.99.

        On your metroplex question it looked like Coisas do Brasil in Richardson was open when I was there last month and in the past they had a mixture of foodstuff/clothing/general items so might be worth a call as not certain if they did carry polviho azedo. No idea about Austin. Alternately ask for someone on the Boston Board to mail you some in a flat rate box (I would be happy to, but am out of the country now).

        One other note, its generally labeled “Amido Azedo” and translated into sour starch on what is imported, whereas the polvilho doce is labeled ‘polvilho doce.’ Something to keep in mind if you ask someone to look for it for you.

    • popvulture Apr 10, 2021

      I don’t have a definitive answer, but if I were you, the first place I’d check would be Fiesta. Their international aisle has all kinds of interesting things that are difficult to find elsewhere. Last time I went there I was intending to buy some Mexican ingredients, but walked out with tamarind chutney and a bottle of piri piri sauce.

      • Pmd669 Apr 10, 2021

        Thanks for the tip. I looked at the Fiesta on I-35, and didn’t find it (although they did have the sweet flour). Is there a Fiesta with a broader selection?

      • luckyfatima Apr 10, 2021

        Do you know if the sour tapioca flour is also possibly an African or Caribbean product? There is that Afrocarib market at the intersection of I-35 and Rundberg, and there was a West African market on airport near to Wan Fu III but I am not sure if it is there anymore. A quick google might get you some phone numbers so you could call and see if any African shops have it.

        • mollyjade Apr 11, 2021

          The West African market is gone, but there’s also a Caribbean market on N. Lamar, just south of MT.

        • Snowcat749 Dec 30, 2021

          You can find it on amazon.com. Just search for sour tapioca flour and depending where you live it is also found in Brazilian markets.

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