Friday, August 11, 2006
I loved eating at Pena Pachamama in San Francisco. Other than an unfortuante rendition of Oyo Como Va, the music was AMAZING. It was Cuban night and they played a lot of music from Buena Vista Social Club. I couldn't get enough of the fried yucca. They looked like french fries, but the taste and texture were slightly different, a little more starchy and heartier. They were served with what they called, "a zesty vegan cream sauce." It tasted like aioli with a little kick. It was so yummy, I just had to find out more about it.
The yucca plant is actually a member of the lily family. I associate it with Mexican and South American cooking, but it is also consumed in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. Not only is it eaten but is also used for thickening, for medicinal purposes, and to make sandals, belts, baskets, ropes, etc . . . Fresh yucca is available all year round. Choosing a yucca is much like choosing a potato, look for firm yucca; no soft spots. Store in a cool dark place, just like you would potatoes. You can also substitute yucca for potatoes in soups and stews. It is a good source of vitamin C, dietary fiber and carbohydrates.