Chic African Culture Africa Factbook

Cassava Facts and Nutrition

Cassava and cassava flour, everything you ever wanted to know.

Cutting cassava

Cassava is known by various names, manioc, yucca, yuca, mandioca, and tapioca. Cassava originated from tropical America and was first introduced into Africa in the Congo basin by the Portuguese around 1558.

Adding cassava and cassava flour to your diet can easily lead to weight gain since cassava flour has double the carbohydrate and calorie content of sweet potatoes. Cassava flour is great if you are looking for high-calorie food but not so great when trying to lose weight. Cassava flour maybe a gluten-free, wheat flour alternative, however, cassava root is essentially a rich carbohydrate source.

Cassava grows well in poor soils with little attention needed to grow the crop. However, it requires considerable postharvest labor because the roots are highly perishable and must be processed into a storable form soon after harvest. Roots can be harvested between six months and three years after planting.

Cassava is a major staple food in the developing world, providing a basic diet for over half a billion people. Nigeria is the world's largest producer of cassava, while Thailand is the largest exporter of dried cassava however, Africa exports only one ton of cassava annually.

Nearly every person in Africa eats around 176 pounds or 80 kilograms of cassava per year. It is estimated that 37% of dietary energy comes from cassava. The Democratic Republic of Congo is the largest consumer of cassava in sub-Saharan Africa, followed by Nigeria.

Many varieties of cassava contain a substance called cyanide that can make the crop toxic if inadequately processed. Various processing methods, such as grating, sun drying, and fermenting, are used to reduce the cyanide content.

Apart from food, cassava is very versatile and its derivatives and starch are applicable in many types of products such as foods, confectionery, sweeteners, glues, plywood, textiles, paper, biodegradable products, monosodium glutamate, and drugs. Cassava chips and pellets are used in animal feed and alcohol production.

Best Fritters Recipe

Best Fritters Recipe

Best Fritters Recipe

Fritters are best served with homemade soups and stews recipes. Golden brown Garri Fritters are a favorite recipe of Western Africa made with ground cassava flour and spices fried into delicious snacks.

 

Serves 8

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 10

Total time: 20 min

Best Cassava Fritters Recipe Ever

Ingredients

2 cups cassava flour

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1 tablespoon white sugar

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 - 1/3 cups water

1-2 cups oil for frying

 

Directions

In a large frying pan heat vegetable oil. Add all ingredients, mix well and form small fritters, fry until golden brown about 3 minutes on each side. Sprinkle with extra salt or curry powder before serving.

Cassava Fact. 
Nearly every person in Africa eats around 176 pounds or 80 kilograms of cassava per year.
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