Cassava is a long tuberous starchy root which has brown fibrous skin and white interior. It has a texture like a stringy potato or pumpkin.
Other names for Cassava are yuca, manioc, mandioca, yucca root, casabe, and tapioca.
Cassava can never be eaten raw as it contains Prussic Acid (Hydrocyanic Acid) which can cause cyanide poisoning.
Cooking or pressing the root thoroughly removes the poison.
Cassava is incredibly versatile, it can be boiled, baked, steamed, grilled, fried, mashed or added to stews.
Frequently it is served with meat. sprinkled with salt, pepper and lime juice. When cooked, it turns yellow, slightly translucent, a little sweet, and chewy.
The root can also be made into a ground meal or flour by washing, peeling and grating it, and then pressing out the juice and drying the meal. Cassava can also be made into several other items including:
- Tapioca is cassava starch used in puddings and as a thickening agent.
- Dough for Empanadas and Tamales