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Yuca: history, importance and 3 recipes to take advantage of it in the kitchen

Cassava, aipim, guacamota or casabe are some of the names by which cassava is known, an extraordinary root that Peruvians consume in various dishes. It is usually an accompaniment to ceviches or seafood dishes, but this ingredient is also a protagonist in kitchens around the world. Advantage He investigated more about this food and we will tell you about its history and presence in gastronomy. In addition, we share three succulent recipes that use it in salty and sweet preparations.

Yucca is the root of a perennial shrub whose scientific name is manihot esculenta and it is usually cultivated not only in America (its area of ​​origin), but also in Africa and Oceania. One of the first facts we learned was the difference between “bitter” and “sweet” cassava. Although the second is more pleasant, it deteriorates quickly, while the first lasts longer. Of course, this variety must be carefully processed due to the content of a substance that can wreak havoc on health.

According to Elmo León, in the book “14,000 years of food in Peru” (2013), Melinda Zeder and other colleagues conclude that cassava originated in the southern Amazon basin and then spread through the Orinoco to Central America. Furthermore, she adds that the most remote evidence of what were probably cassava starch grains in our context comes from northern South America, that is, Colombia, and dates back to between 9,589 and 9,029 BC.

In the Peruvian case, the oldest evidence of cassava comes from Nanchoc, currently the department of Lambayeque. In this area they were found in excavations of pre-ceramic villages, with 6380 BC being the oldest date available.

In the world

As we noted, cassava is widely used in cuisines around the world. For example in Brazil Fariña is prepared, a toasted cassava flour that, if seasoned, is known as farofa and is used to thicken stews or served as an accompaniment. In bolivian They prepare Sonso de yuca, a puree that is combined with local cheese and gratinated. Colombia It is one of the countries that has made the most use of this ingredient, in preparations such as enyucado, cassava bread or carimañolas (fried cassava cakes), among others.

Chapana, a Peruvian sweet with more than 100 years of history, is prepared with yucca and combined with chancaca.

If we talk about our cuisine, what everyone probably knows is that yucca is an ideal accompaniment to ceviche or beef or goat dry. But, it is also used in departments such as Piura and Lambayeque in dishes such as majado de yuca. In our Amazon, fariña is also used and cassava is an everyday food. Even one of the area’s best-known fermented drinks, masato, is prepared with this ingredient. In the case of desserts, chapana is the first thing that comes to mind. It is a kind of sweet dough based on yucca and chancaca, which is wrapped in banana or bijao leaves.

If you are one of those who visit Tik Tok followed, perhaps you have seen the fufu, a soft and malleable dough that is part of African cuisine and is used to eat juicy stews. This preparation is also based on yucca.

Now that we know a little more about this root, we share 3 recipes delicious to take advantage of in our kitchens.

cassava mash


  • 1 kg. parboiled cassava
  • 1/2 kg. pork leg meat, in pieces
  • 2 stalks of Chinese onions, green part, chopped
  • 1 chopped limo chili
  • 1 onion in the pen
  • 1/4 tsp. seasoning
  • 1 tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt


In a bowl, mash the cassava until crumbly. Reserve. In a pot, fry the pork pieces, previously seasoned with salt and pepper, over medium heat for 25 minutes. Remove the pork rinds from the pot and set them aside. In the same pot, with the fat left from cooking the pork, fry the Chinese onion for a few minutes. Add the crushed yucca and mix it with the dressing. Add the pork rinds and combine the ingredients. Remove from heat and adjust seasoning.

This dish is served with pork rinds in some northern restaurants.

Roasted yucca juanes


  • 2 kg. peeled yellow cassava, cut into pieces
  • 2 boiled eggs
  • 8 banana or bijao leaves
  • 2 yolks
  • 1 tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 1 chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. toothpick
  • 1/2 tbsp. mirasol chili cream
  • 2 tbsp. ground yellow chili pepper
  • 3 tbsp. vegetable shortening
  • salt and pepper


Put the yuccas in a pot, cover them with water and add a tablespoon of salt. Bring to medium heat until cooked. Remove and drain. Press with a fork, puree and reserve in a bowl. In a frying pan, over medium heat, heat the butter, add the chili peppers, the toothpick, the pepper and cook for three minutes. Add the garlic, stir and cook for three more minutes. Remove and add to the cassava puree. Add the yolks and mix well. Cut each banana or bijao leaf in two and grill them over medium heat, for 10 seconds on each side, to soften them. Remove and form eight crosses on a surface. Put the cassava puree on each cross and a quarter of the egg. Wrap and tie the leaves up with a wick. Grill over medium heat for 20 minutes. Serve.

(Referential image)

Yucca pastries


  • 4 kg. yucca
  • 1 tbsp. anise grains
  • 1 tbsp. wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp. sweet potato sweet
  • oil
  • 5 tbsp. powdered sugar
  • salt


Cook the peeled cassava in salted water and with the anise grains. Remove from heat and press on a flat surface until a soft, compact dough forms. Sprinkle some wheat flour on the table. Take a little dough with your floured hand and form it into flattened rectangles. On one place a little sweet potato candy and cover with another smaller rectangle. Press the edges to close the dough and form four points. Repeat the same steps until all the dough is used up. Fry the previously floured cupcakes in plenty of hot oil. Serve and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

(Referential image)

Source: Elcomercio

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