Available: Year Round
Yuca, or “Cassava” is the starchy, edible root of the plant Euphorbiabeae. It is believed to have originated in South America, and today is cultivated throughout the worlds tropical and sub tropical areas. It is such a common staple in so many cultures that it is actually the third largest carbohydrate consumed worldwide.
Yuca has a long history. Evidence of the first cultivated yuca was discovered in El Salvador in a Mayan site believed to be about 1,400 years old. Evidence of wild varieties though have been detected in Western Brazil and are believed to date back thousands of years. The world’s largest producer of the root is Nigereria, in Africa, followed by Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Yuca is depended upon in many cultures as a common staple. Because of the ethnic diversity of populations that consume yuca, there are many different traditional dishes prepared with the root.
It is very important that the skin of the yuca be removed before cooking as it is not edible. Peel or cut off the skin. The flesh will be bright white or sometimes yellow. There is also a central vein through the center of the root that can also be removed as it is usually very fibrous. Yuca roots are usually boiled first so they become tender. The taste is mild and nutty. They are used in many meals similarly to the potato, as an accompaniment to beef, chicken, pork or fish. They can be added to stews and soups and can even be fried like French fries (after boiling). Serve with butter or margarine, or garlic, and olive oil. They can be pureed and made into dumplings. Milled into flour, yucca is the starchy main ingredient in tapioca. Do not consume yuca uncooked, as it can prove poisonous.
Choose roots that are clean looking and un-shriveled. Yuca begins a natural deterioration process once it is harvested from the plant and is cured by many different methods throughout the world. Throughout Latin America, producers wax the yuca to preserve it for shipping. The wax is harmless and leaves the root once it is peeled and prepared for cooking. In transit and storage, yuca can be kept at 50° – 55° F for several days. Once in the home, yuca can be kept in the refrigerator for several days. A great way to keep yuca is to peel and cut up into chunks and freeze until ready to boil.
We offer yuca in 40 pound cartons.