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Cassava: a short journey between properties and recipes

Cassava, that is, a tuber native to South American forests. In fact, the cassava is a plant of the family Euphorbiaceae, but generally we speak only of the tuberous root. Maybe some cassava you have already heard, for example, in association with the Tapioca: and indeed, as we shall see, the latter is a derivative of the cassava. A derivative with truly surprising properties.

And if you wonder what cassava, it has a woody skin and a pulp that resembles that of coconut in appearance. In general the cassava to the eye it vaguely resembles a potato, but with a more elongated shape, therefore closer to that of a carrot. We go on to say that if you are passionate about history, well, that of cassava it is really very old, and so it can certainly pique the interest of those of you who like to know more when there is evidence of the past to discover.

In this case, to bear witness to the fact that when we talk about cassava it really has to do with a millennial history is the fact that the Mayan population he used it. And then the cassava how did he arrive on the Old Continent? The answer is quickly said: it was after the discovery of America that this tuber was exported to Europe.

Where does cassava grow?

Let’s start at the beginning, and try to answer the question related to the origins of the cassava, on the other hand in the place where it is currently cultivated. The cassava today it is widely grown in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. In particular, the plant of the Euphorbiaceae family, including the one we define here cassava constitutes the tuberous root, its development requires high temperatures and humidity. As for its origins, as we have anticipated, it comes from the South American forests and, as mentioned, it has a very ancient history: just think that it was already used by the Mayan population. Another curiosity? It is believed that the ancestor of the plant comes fromAmazon.

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What is the difference between cassava and tapioca?

The difference between cassava and tapioca is that tapioca is a derivative of cassava. It’s true: tapioca is in fact a preparation obtained from cassava flour or rather flour from the tubers of cassava (understood here as the plant of the Euphorbiaceae family). To begin by introducing a subject of great interest in general, namely that relating to properties, the so-called tapioca starch it is used in cosmetic formulations. In fact, we are also dealing with a second subject which is generally of great interest: skin care. This use of tapioca starch is due to the fact that it is able to contribute to giving the desired consistency to the products where it is used, as well as to the fact that it can absorb cutaneous secretions and have a smoothing action on the latter, making pores less visible.

Properties of cassava

Rich in water, the cassava it is generally considered a food that provides energy, given the high presence of carbohydrates it contains. A small curiosity about it is that it contains more protein than potatoes. The cassava it also contains vitamins, among which we mention the vitamin Athe Vitamin Cthe Vitamin E and some B vitamins, such as vitamin B6. Also inside are potassium, phosphorus And magnesium. As for the properties of products derived from cassava, we refer you to the previous short chapter devoted to tapioca. In this way you will discover that when we talk about the so-called tapioca starch, we are dealing with an interesting subject for those who, among their passions, have this for the world of beauty and, in particular, for the skin care world.

What does cassava taste like?

If you are wondering what the flavor of cassavathe answer is quickly said: cassava it has a rather delicate flavor, although it reveals a slight note between bitter and spicy in the aftertaste. The cassava it cannot be eaten raw: it contains cyanogenic glycosides which can only be eliminated by peeling and cooking this tuber.

Cassava and recipes

The cassava today it is widely consumed in various countries around the world. However, in Italy it is not a particularly well-known ingredient, so it is possible to wonder for which recipes it is possible to insert the cassava in the list of ingredients. To taste the cassava for example, it is possible to bake it in the oven or to fry it (and the fried cassava it is a real delight: if you have had the opportunity to visit Brazil, you may already know it, because it is very popular in this country). The cassava it can also be boiled and then used to prepare more elaborate recipes. As already mentioned, in case you need to plan a trip to Brazilyou may be truly amazed at the number of ways in which cassava it is served here.

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