Friday, August 11, 2006

Yucca?



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.

3 comments:

Lindsey said...

We LOVE yucca. Only we call it manioc. Did you know this is the same thing as tapioca? I didn't.

They have it at Viva Grande over by the potatoes and peppers--on the bottom. A good tip from this cute little Spanish-speaking guy I met at VG: break open the yucca before you buy it to make sure it's not rotten inside. YOu can also freeze it.

We boil ours and then sometimes fry it in canola oil. Or you can eat it plain with salt. They used to have yucca chips at Trader Joe's. Sooooo yummy. In Brazil they also have this flour made out of it called Farinha de Manioca. It looks like sawdust, but it's good. Next time we make some Farofa (which is toasted manioca flour with a few yummy extras) I'll bring you some.

Look at me so full of information.

Erin said...

I'm so glad to know! You'll have to help me when I start experimenting.

Design Mom said...

The yucca was yummy.