Cassava meal and its Cultural diversity
Being a global food source and an economic crop, the cassava tuber defines the feeding culture of most cuisines in the world.
Cassava (Manihot esculenta) also known as “Yuca” which is mostly prepared and eaten like potatoes contains 30% starch and is high in carbohydrates. Before diving into cultural appreciation of Yuca dish, its better to know its genesis.
How does Cassava yuca come about? Does it come from a plant? How and when is it planted? how is it harvested? are some of the questions that you might be pondering on. Well!! Just relax because answers will be provided below.
How to Plant Cassava
This long taper plant which originates from a plant tuber is best grown during tropical climates and should at least eight months of warm weather with modest rainfall and not in freezing temperature.
Growing Yuca from the start to harvest can take up to 18 months and it best suits well drained soils but can seemingly survive where soils are wet.
For the planting proper:
- Cut the plant of a mature cassava stem 2 to 3 inches with several bud nodes along the length.
-Creat a hole and place cutting on prepared soil on round clay pots and keep it lightly laid in a sunny location.
the cutting indoors until temperatures outside are at least 21 C
them outside when cuttings have at least 2 inches of growth so as to enable
them grow easily and healthily with space.
- In case of an upcoming freezing temperature, take the pot away to a heated area. You can return it when the sun and heat is aback.
When should Cassava Yuca be harvested?
-Cassava matures between 8 to 12 months but it is advisable to cut back plants two weeks before harvesting so that the tuber gets mature and increase yields by 10%.
-Do not weed before harvesting so as not to destroy the tuber and excess soils should be well removed from Cassava before its carefully packed in crates or bags for transport.
It should however be noted that, cassava is a perishable crop for reason that it starts to deteriorate as early as 1-3 days after harvest. Thus, it is best to harvest it during using time. Also living it beyond harvest time can expose them to pests. So, harvesting it at the right time (at full maturity of 6-7 months) will prolong its tuber life.
What are the Cultural recipes from Cassava?
Yuca which has a pinkish brown skin with milky white flesh is the third source of carbohydrate in the world. It is present in most cultural meals and constitutes an essential part of Brazilian, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon cuisines amongst others. It can be fried as a side dish (commonly known as Accra), slow cooked with ribs, refined into garri and made into flour for baking purposes.
Cassava dish highlights the traditional meals of some African communites and is usually eaten depending on the feeding cultures of each given group with reason that it can be ingested manually, with cutleries or both ways.