What is cassava ?
Cassava has brown, fibrous skin and a snowy white interior flesh, and is about 2 inches wide and 8 inches long. Other names for cassava are yuca, manioc, mandioca, casabe, and tapioca. While sometimes mistakenly spelled yucca, the yucca is a separate, ornamental plant.
How to use cassava ?
Cassava is used for both its meat as well as its juice, and before cooking cassava, it must be peeled. The skin not only has high concentrations of hydrocyanic acid but is also bitter tasting and fibrous. Since the outside is more like bark than like the skin of a potato, it is best to use a paring knife instead of a vegetable peeler. Cut off both ends of the cassava, then slice it into about four pieces. One at a time, stand up a piece on a cutting board (so the cut-side is down), and using the paring knife, remove the skin cutting from the top of the piece to the bottom, trying not to take off too much of the white flesh. (This technique is similar to cutting a pineapple.) Rotate the piece, continuing to slice off the bark. Quarter each piece and remove the woody core as you would in a pineapple.
How to cook cassava ?
Cassava can be boiled, baked, grilled, fried, mashed, fermented, or added to stews. It is incredibly versatile and can be cook just like potatoes.
Cassava can also be dried to a powder form, and be use to make dough for empanadas, tamales as well as the world famous tapioca pearls ! In jamaica, bam-bam (bammie, bammy) is the name of the food made from cassava such as bread, pancakes, muffins.
What Does It Taste Like?
Cassava root has a subtle taste that is earthy, slightly sweet, and nutty, with a touch of bitterness. Because it is mild, it benefits from being cooked along with strong-flavored ingredients.
How to store cassava ?
Unpeeled cassava should be stored in a cool, dry place like the pantry. Once the cassava is peeled, it will last up to a month in the refrigerator if covered with water, with the water changed every two days. Yuca can also be frozen for several months.
And to finish, cassava is considered gluten-free …
Available at Afritibi market …