A root native to South America, but now primarily grown in Africa where it is an important staple. Cassava is 6-12 inches long and 2-3 inches wide and is covered with a tough brown skin. The flesh is crisp and white. There are two main categories: bitter and sweet. Bitter cassava is poisonous unless cooked. Cassava is used in the making of tapioca and cassareep–a bittersweet condiment used in West Indian cooking. Grated, dried cassava is called cassava meal. Cassava is also known as soap root from it’s historical use as a foaming cleanser.

Season: available year-round

How to select: Choose firm tubers with no blemishes and a clean fresh scent.

How to store: Refrigerate peeled cassava covered with water up to four days. Store whole cassava in a cool dark place up to seven days.

How to prepare: If difficult to peel, microwave a minute or two.

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