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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

C for Colombia ~ Cassava Fries / Yuca Fries / Yuca Frita

 
Event: BM #44
Choice of country: The Republic of Colombia
Capital City: Bogota
Official Language: Spanish

How many of you really know how to correctly spell  "Colombia", the south American country? I may not be a right candidate for a spelling bee competition but trust me when I say that I hardly make mistakes when it comes to spellings of words that are found in a normal conversation in the English language. I always had assumed that there was only one way to spell the word and that was "Columbia". I probably had nurtured this assumption owing to the familiarity with words connecting to "Columbia" in USA and Christopher Columbus himself. We have  a river, a university and a state capital by that name here in US and of course our nation's capital has Columbia in it too. It turns out that "Columbia" is a historical and poetic name used for the United States of America and is also one of the names of it's female personification. Apparently I suck in American history. :) Now as I got that thing off my chest, we can proceed to the country "Colombia" which happens to be my choice for the letter "C".

I am still in south America on the third day of this culinary journey and moving towards the northwest region of that nation. The word "Colombia" comes from explorer Christopher Columbus' last name. The indigenous people who were the original inhabitants of the area, Spanish colonists, African slaves and European & Middle-East immigrants have all contributed towards a diverse cultural heritage and cuisine. According to wiki, the country's varied geography and imposing landscape of the country have resulted in very strong regional identities and the cuisine varies regionally. The Colombian cuisine includes the cooking of Colombia's Caribbean shore line, pacific coast, mountains, jungles and ranch lands. Colombian coffee is renowned for it's high quality. Some  of the common ingredients used in cooking are cereals like rice and maize, tubers such as potato and cassava/yuca, legumes, meats and seafood. The country is home to tropical fruits that are rarely found elsewhere - zapote, nispero, lulo, uchuva, passion fruit, borojo, cruba, mamoncillo, guanabana, guava and others.
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As you can see the main star of today's post is cassava. This starchy, tuberous root also goes by other names such as yuca, manioc, balinghoy, tapioca root and many more and it was first likely domesticated in Brazil ten thousand years ago. The Portuguese traders from Brazil introduced cassava to Africa and it is now one of the important staple foods there along with maize. However care must be taken that cassava is prepared properly before consumption since improper preparation can leave enough residual cyanide to cause serious health hazards in humans.

Fried cassava is commonly found in many Latin countries and is a typical substitute for the French fries. I liked the texture of  these fries more than the potato ones and they remained crispier longer than french fries do. For a healthier version, they can be baked after boiling the cassava instead of frying. 

Ingredients:
Cassava / Yuca
Oil to fry
Salt for seasoning
Method:
* Select yuca that is firm with no soft spots or white spots (aka fungus). The yuca usually comes with a wax coating. Cut off the tapered ends. Using a paring knife, make a vertical cut along the length of the yucca root and try to peel away any skin that comes off easily. If that method is hard, peel away the crusty brown skin and the pink layer underneath using a knife. Cut the peeled yuca into sections and cook until tender. I pressure cooked for one whistle. It would look like boiled potatoes when done.

* Drain and let cool. Pat the yuca pieces dry with a paper towel. Cut them into thick pieces similar to french fries taking care to remove the woody core first.
Make a vertical cut along the length of the yucca root with a sharp paring knife and lift one side. Peel away any skin that comes off easily.

Read more : http://www.ehow.com/how_5653679_peel-yucca-root.html
Make a vertical cut along the length of the yucca root with a sharp paring knife and lift one side. Peel away any skin that comes off easily.

Read more : http://www.ehow.com/how_5653679_peel-yucca-root.html
* Fry the cassava pieces in hot oil until they turn crisp and golden brown through out, about 5 minutes. Drain them on paper towels.
  
* Season with salt and serve immediately.

Comments

19 comments:

The Pumpkin Farm said...

never thought about the word col"u"mbia as much before..but interesting to know its importance in the USA...i was tempted to make cassava cake for something but i could not find anywhere in vicinity...

The Pumpkin Farm said...

oops...and i forgot to mention that the chips look very inviting

Manjula Bharath said...

wow tempting cassava fries :) looks so crispy dear !! wonderful recipe selection from colombia :)

Priya Suresh said...

Wow these fries tempts me a lot, so crispy and dangerously addictive, beautiful recipe choice.

Padma Rekha said...

Ahh I will run away from this English spellings.. crispy fries perfect tea time snack for me..

Srivalli said...

Interesting notes and yes I read in Kalyani's post abt the spelling..I wonder how we just skip certain things certain times..:)..such a sinful snack..will have to make it sometime..I am sure I will love it!

vaishali sabnani said...

I don't think we get cassava here ..but the chips look nice and crunchy.

Usha said...

I never paid much attention to how the country Colombia is spelled. Now I will never forgot. Fries look crunchy and inviting.

Harini-Jaya R said...

Sinful snack and for a change we can try these instead of the potato fries!

Pavani N said...

What a delicious looking cassava fries. Yumm!!

Chef Mireille said...

I love yuca fries and they are often served with garlic sauce in Latin restaurants...delicious!!!

Padmajha PJ said...

Nice wrote up Suma and these fries are sure to be addictive!

Priya Srinivasan said...

i m just pronouncing it loud to check whether i say it right!!! I m very poor in geography suma, Loved the fries, looks tempting!! :)

Sapana Behl said...

Nice write up and fries are looking so crispy and tasty !

Kalyani said...

hey we chose the same country. ColOmbia vs ColUmbia ... that sure was a tough geography test :-)) Lol !!

am yet to check out what yuca is .. looks like tapioca or a similar tuber. Fries are welcome anyday !! :-))

Sreevalli E said...

Lovely fries.. Sure they are addictive..

Gayathri Kumar said...

I have made chips with the root, but haven't tried this french fry version. They look so crispy...

Foodiliciousnan said...

So Colombia it is! I had planned on a dish from another country that also used fried cassava...but didn't know what to substitute for the root. wonder how it tastes. Awesome looking fries...

Archana Potdar said...

I am bad at history too so we can give one another some company. This cassava has me intrigued I wish I can find something to sub it with. fries look yum.