The town of Chulumani ,capital of the South Yungas region of Bolivia has long served up a famous type of cheese pastie in a small bakery on the plaza. Those that visited the town would always sample the snack and often take a quantity away with them for family or friends in La Paz (although nothing beats eating them fresh). Similar to the commonly available “Llachua” pasties that you can buy all over La Paz from small cafes, street sellers and other outlets and even in other parts of the country these are a class above. Jawitas are without a doubt the best cheese pasties you will ever try. Whilst Chulumani is famous for its Jawitas they are considered to be from the Yungas area in general.
Now though you can sample these wonderful cheesey mouthwatering delicacies without travelling the treacherous road to Chulumani (much like the death road to Coroico in parts) as there is a business opened in La Paz baking on site and selling them. They cost 5bs each and the open fronted store on Calle Loayza sells just Jawitas and no other foods. You can
accompany them with a softdrink or coffee if eating in. They come in normal variety or spicey (picantes) although 95% of the time the spicey jawitas arent available. In fact as they are so popular they seem to struggle to keep up with demand and often there will be nothing ready and you have to wait 20 mins or so whilst they prepare more. This is often due to offices placing large orders for takeaway and purchasing the entire stock.
Why are they so good? Well as mention, they are best eaten fresh as reheating them never seems to recreate the perfect balance of hot cheese and super soft pastry. The cheese is always very flavorful there is plenty of it (unlike in many LLachuas or cheese empanadas sold in South America). be careful though as it can be bubbling hot. The key though is the pastry itself which just seems so incredibly fresh and delicate and is also cooked to perfection. Its hard to describe how good it is and best advice is go to La Paz (or Chulumani) and try one (or several most likely!)