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Foods

Cassava

Why Eat It
Shopping
Storage
Preparation
Nutrition Chart


Why Eat It

Also called manioc or yuca, this starchy tuber is cultivated in South America (where it originated), Africa, the Caribbean, the South Pacific, and Florida. Cassava is shaped like an elongated potato; it's about a foot long, weighs up to 3 pounds or so; and is covered with a hairy brown barklike skin enclosing soft dense white flesh. Cooking it not only makes it palatable, but also eliminates a toxic substance that can form in varying amounts in the raw vegetable. Although commonly peeled and cooked like potatoes, cassava can also be dried and ground into flour: Tapioca is a form of cassava flour.

Shopping

Shop for cassava in Latin American markets, looking for dry, hard, clean roots with perfectly white flesh (grocers often cut them to show the inside).

Storage

Cassava doesn't keep well, but it may stay fresh for a few days in the refrigerator or in a cool, dry place.

Preparation

To prepare the vegetable, cut it into thick slabs and peel them one at a time with a sharp paring knife. Simmer the chunks for about 20 minutes and serve hot with a spicy sauce.

Nutrition Chart

Cassava/1/2 cup cooked

83
Total fat (g)
0.3
Saturated fat (g)
0.1
Monounsaturated fat (g)
0.1
Polyunsaturated fat (g)
0.1
Dietary fiber (g)
0.1
2
Carbohydrate (g)
19
Cholesterol (mg)
0
Sodium (mg)
165
Vitamin C (mg)
22


Date Published: 04/20/2005
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