Kassav- Cassava

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Cassava is considered an “amuse-gueule” (appetizer) in Haiti.
It’s one of those things that are very popular!

I’m surprised I’ve never heard of it being served in restaurants.

However, 3 out of 5 homes (including Haitian homes abroad) will have cassava in their cupboard.
You’ll always find a Haitian family member nibbling on some cassava. Just having fun with it!
It’s always fun to eat.

What is it exactly?
Cassava is made out of YUCA. It’s actually grated yuca and is considered a flat bread.
It’s a heritage of the Tainos (Arawak) as it was a staple of their diet.
The Tainos lived in Puerto-Rico, Jamaica, Cuba and Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic)

Ingredients

  • Yuca Root (choose one that is firm and has no soft spot)
  • Coconut flakes (optional)*
  • Salt (to taste)

Directions

  1. Clean and peel the yuca root (make sure to cut off the tapered ends and the woody core)
  2. Finely grate the yuca
  3. Use a cheesecloth / cotton towel to squeeze out the moisture of the grated yuca.
    Be careful not to remove too much moisture as it will make your  cassava a little brittle, making it hard to form a smooth-edged-disk.  ( I actually encountered this problem and fixed it by adding a bit of water to my hands)
  4. Season with salt
  5. *Optional step– I formed little balls and then flattened them out with my spatula
    However, normally, the grated yuca is just placed on the pan and flattened out. Edges are shaped using the spatula to gather the ends closer together.
  6. Heat a frying pan (no oil) and place the yuca in the pan starting from the center.
  7. Squeeze it out flat with a spatula or a wooden spoon.
  8. Flip once the bottom is brown
  9. Let it cool for a while until it hardens.

*If you’re using coconut, Just create a thin first layer of grated yuca in your pan. Add the coconut (with sugar if wanted) and then cover it (like a sandwich) with another thin layer of grated yuca. Then flip after a few minutes.

It is enjoyed with peanut butter ( I will soon  post a recipe for Haitian peanut butter), avocado.
Or (if prepared in a smaller size) can be used as a chip for dips!
There are so many other ways of enjoying it depending on the culture.
Haitian Cassava usually has a nutty taste to it.

Enjoy! And share your experience.

 

yuca root161162Grated Yuca164165Yuca with no moisture167168169172

Published by Nathalie JB

Bonjou! My name is Nathalie Jean-Baptiste. Yes! I know, my last name doesn’t get any more Haitian than that! Who am I really? I consider myself a renaissance woman. I looooooove learning new skills in any field possible: Culinary, baking, painting, crafting, designing, writing, knitting, sewing. You name it! I often joke while saying “ I’m a tout bagay”. Which literally translates to “I’m everything”. Most say I'd make a great surgeon due to the agility in my hands. Sure, I can manage any tasks requiring detail and precision. It drives my audacity to venture in the kitchen with absolutely no experience. What better motivation than to share my culinary journey with you? To help you get better at things you probably thought you couldn't do. At least, that was my drive! I guess by now, you’ve already figured out that I'm the cook and photographer behind “Pilon lakay”. This blog started 8 years ago as I realized that I knew absolutely nothing about Haitian cuisine. Back home, I was never taught how to cook nor was I ever interested in being in the kitchen unless it involved baking. Instead, I loved preparing cakes and cookies. (Shhhh! I still do). After a couple of years in the US, like most of us immigrants, I missed food from home. The good stuff, you know! So I decided to take matters into my own hands and make of this a personal exploration of Haitian food. Boy what a journey it has been! While cooking up a storm in the kitchen, I wanted to encourage others like me to actually learn and explore Haiti’s gastronomy. I made sure my instructions were personal and beginner friendly. My recipe directions contain a lot more details than any other regular recipes. With a personal touch, it's a depiction of my thought process when I do these many tasks. I'm sure you can cook anything on here! If I can do it, you can too! Come experience Haiti through your taste buds! Meet you in the kitchen! Love, N.

One thought on “Kassav- Cassava

  1. Bonjour
    Félicitations pour ce blog. Moi qui aie toujours voulu savoir comment on fait la cassave et le Chaka je suis très contente. Il te reste tomtom,les fricassés etc..J’adore cuisiner surtout haïtien sans touche étrangère,brute,comme me l’a apprise ma mère. Félicitations encore c’est une bonne idée. Si tu veux d’autres idées revient aux sources assez souvent et visite les gens qui détiennent le savoir et le savoir-faire.Felicitations!!!

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