How to Cook Yuca - Favorite Cassava Recipes
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What is yuca?
Yuca is the starchy tuberous root of the shrub Manihot esculenta. It is also known as manioc, mandioca or Brazilian arrowroot. Yuca is native to a region centered in west-central Brazil and brought here by the indigenous people who first populated the island of Hispaniola. Yuca was a staple of the Taino diet, and the only ingredient in casabe, a dish that we still eat.
Names in Spanish
Cassava is nearly universally known in Spanish as yuca. In some places, it is known as mandioca. Bear in mind that the name yucca in English is not the same as yuca. Yucca is an ornamental plant native of dessert areas.
History of yuca
Cassava is native to an area centered in western Brazil, and brought to Hispaniola by the native of this region, who were the first to populate the island of Hispaniola. Cassava was one of the most important ingredients of the Taino diet, and the only ingredient in cassava, a dish we still consume today.
Safety of yuca
This is one topic that comes up often when people hear about yuca. While the original (bitter) variety of yuca contained toxic substances, the variety that is currently grown and sold in the Dominican Republic (sweet) has been bred to eliminate this toxicity. Once cooked, it can be safely eaten without having to undergo the traditional processes used to get rid of the toxins. In any case, cassava should not be ingested raw.
How to peel yuca
Peeling yuca is very easy, but if you are not familiar with it, you can learn with our video tutorial.