Ingredient - Brazil
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popularly known as Cassava, Manioc belongs to the plant
family Euphorbiaceae. It is a staple food in Brazil, South America (where it is
sometimes called Yucca) and is also widely used in the West Indies as well as in Africa.
to Brazil and Paraguay, Manioc was transported by Europeans to the West
Indies, mainly as slave provisions, and to Africa in the sixteenth Century. Two
varieties of the Manioc are widely used for culinary purposes: the sweet type
(which is the type you are most likely to come across in shops outside of where
they are grown)
and the bitter poisonous type which must never be eaten raw due to
the toxic concentrations of cyanogenic glucosides however, the poisons are
destroyed by soaking in water and the subsequent heat in the cooking process. It's amazing that the native
Indians determined these tubers were edible at all.
plant grows in a bushy form, up to 2.4 m (8 ft) tall, with greenish- yellow
roots are very starchy and grow up to 8 cm (3 in) thick and 91 cm (36 in) long.
The fresh roots can be cooked much like potatoes, once peeled they can be
boiled, baked or fried. The young leaves can also be cooked in the same way
as spinach, although great care must be taken to get rid of
the toxic compounds in the leaves during the cooking process.
popular way of consuming manioc is to process it into meal and flour. No Brazilian meal is complete without
Farofa, which is seasoned manioc meal. Brazilians use it as a condiment
and sprinkle it over everything from
soup to vegetables, much like the Italians use Parmesan
forms of processed manioc root include Tapioca (mostly used in puddings or as a thickening agent),
Farinha de mandioca (toasted flour) and Paçoca or Tapioca Flour (the meal further processed into a finer
flour often used as a suitable gluten free ingredient in breads and baked
will find many recipes using Manioc and it's derivatives both on the main Brazil
Cooking by Country page and throughout the site. To find Tapioca recipes, just
use the Search Form.