Cassava Bread is sometimes called Cassava Flat Bread or Cassava Cracker depending on the island in the Caribbean. Cassava is also called manioc or yuca, which differs from yucca, which is a type of flowering plant. Cassava was thought to first originate from South-American forests where indigenous people are still using it as a staple food source. Later on, it was also discovered that it originated in Africa, Asia and other tropical countries or islands. Cassava or Manioc or Yuca is very rich in starch and is compared to yam, plantains, potato etc…
Cassava Bread is made with grated manioc. Cassava in general has many health benefits.
- It has twice the amount of calories when compared to potatoes. It is very low in fats and protein but also has more protein than yam, potato and plantains.
- Cassava is also free of gluten and is said to have a potential role in bone mass building by promoting osteotrophic activity in the bones.
- “It also has established role in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in the brain.”
- Cassava is a moderate source of some of the valuable B-complex group of vitamins such as folates, thiamin, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin, and pantothenic acid.
- It is one of the chief sources of some important minerals like zinc, magnesium, copper, iron, and manganese for many inhabitants in the tropical belts. In addition, it has adequate amounts of potassium (271 mg per 100g or 6% of RDA). Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that help regulate heart rate and blood pressure. (www.nutritionandyou.com)
Cassava Bread has a nutty taste and a somewhat chewy texture. In the Caribbean, it is consumed as a snack, at breakfast time or suppertime. The most favorite way to enjoy cassava bread is with peanut butter. Many islanders also enjoy it with avocado, butter or spreadable cheese or any other way they choose.
Cassava Bread is sold in West-Indians and Latin Supermarkets. They are mostly sold plain. In islands such as Haiti, on the north side of the island, grated manioc is mixed with coconut, which in turns creates Coconut Cassava Bread. The texture is the same, but you get a mix of the nutty flavor and coconut flavor. One of the best ways to enjoy cassava bread is with hot coffee, a favorite of most islanders. Others also prefer it with a glass of fruit juice.