Saturday, April 18, 2009

Cassava (yuca or tapioca or manioc)

Cassava is grown for its edible starch-filled tuberous root. The cassava root is shape long and tapered, with a firm homogeneous flesh encased in a detachable rind, which is about 1 mm thick, and brown colored on the outside.

Cassava roots are a major source of carbohydrates with less protein, and are very rich in starch with calcium, phosphorus and vitamin C.

Cassava roots can be eaten after peeled and cooked in water, baked, or fried. Fresh roots are sliced and fried to make chips which are similar to potato chips. In south india cassava is a secondary staple food and is used in preparing variety of cuisines.

Dried roots are milled to produce cassava flour, which are mainly used for baking breads, crackers, pasta and pearls of tapioca. Cassava flour may be used sometime as partial substitute for wheat flour in making bread. Bread made wholly from cassava are useful to people whome with allergies to wheat flour. Alcoholic beverages also can be made from cassava roots.

Unpeeled roots are dried and grated for the use of livestock feed.

The shelf life of cassava roots are only a few days unless they receive special treatment or fermented. Removing the leaves from the plant two weeks before harvest, lengthens the shelf life up to two weeks.

Cassava are native to Brazil and Paraguay. Cassava is called by some other common or tropical names are yuca, tapioca, manioc and maracheeni.
[image: a south indian cuisine from cassava roots]