Yucca (also known as cassava) is a food with formidable properties that nurtures more than 500 million people around the world.

Yucca is the name of a shrub of the Euphorbiaceae family, which has tuber roots. These tubers are for consumption and should be cooked, they are the base of basic nutrition for millions of people in the American, Asian and African continents.

The shape is elongate; the skin is dark brown, of woody aspect and with white pulp. Though there are Manihot Utilisima or sweet cassava and Manihot Esculenta from which derivates tapioca. Other names for Yucca are:  mandioca, maniot, manioc, pari, quivá, cui, yuca brava, yuca amarga, cassava, etc.

Nutritional facts of Yucca

Yucca is a rich in carbohydrates (85 %) and low in fat and proteins. It is a digestive food and contributes moderately vitamins of Group B, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and vitamin C.

Yucca common preparations

One of the most common ways to eat Yucca is in flour form, obtained grating Yucca and washing and toasting it slightly. In Brazil, this flour (farinha di mandioca) is used to make thin tortillas called Pan de mandioca.
It is also possible to make bread –called Cazabe- with the flour. Tapioca is a grit made of Yucca.

As many basic foods, the possibilities of cooking are many: bread (Cazabe), puddings, purée, sauces, rolls, beverages (yaraque, cachirí), cakes, etc made with many regional varieties. In countries as Brazil and Colombia, aperitifs and snacks (chips) made of yucca are really popular.

Some African governments, as Ghana, achieved the goal of boosting the growth, feed millions of people and reduce the dependency on imported grains as such as wheat or rice.