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home > food & wine dictionary > cassava

Food and Wine Dictionary


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 cassava    [kuh-SAH-vuh]

Though native to South America, the majority of cassava now comes from Africa, where it's an important staple. Also called manioc  and yuca , the cassava is a root that ranges from 6 to 12 inches in length and from 2 to 3 inches in diameter. It has a tough brown skin which, when peeled, reveals a crisp, white flesh. There are many varieties of cassava but only two main categories, sweet and bitter. The bitter cassava is poisonous unless cooked. Cassava is available year-round in Caribbean and Latin American markets. It should be stored in the refrigerator for no more than 4 days. Grated, sun-dried cassava is called cassava meal. Cassava is also used to make CASSAREEP and TAPIOCA.

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Material adapted from the The New Food Lover's Companion

© Copyright Barron's Educational Services, Inc. 1995 based on
THE FOOD LOVER'S COMPANION, 2nd edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst.


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