Cassava is a long tuberous starchy root that is an essential ingredient in many Latin American and Caribbean cuisines. It is eaten mashed, added to stews, and used to make bread and chips. Cassava, also known as yuca, must be cooked or pressed before it's eaten, as it is poisonous in its raw form. When raw, cassava's flesh is white; when cooked, it turns yellow, slightly translucent, and a little sweet and chewy.
Cassava is incredibly versatile. It can be boiled, baked, steamed, grilled, fried, mashed, made into chips, or added to stews. Most often it is mashed, sprinkled with salt, pepper, and lime juice, and served with meat. It can be used to make dough for empanadas and tamales as well as tapioca, which thickens puddings. Cassareep, an essential ingredient in Guyanese pepperpot, is a concoction of boiled down cassava juice combined with other spices.
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