What is Yuca or Cassava
Yuca, pronounced You-Kah is a cassava root from the cassava plant. It is also known as cassava manioc or Manihot esculenta. It’s native to South America and cultivated in subtropical and tropical regions. Those regions include Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia.
The crop was originally domesticated along the southwestern border of the Amazon basin, between 8,000-10,000 years ago.
It can be sold fresh in the produce section or found frozen in the freezer section of a grocery store. If you don't want to bother with peeling the thick flesh of the yuca root, you can just go for frozen instead.
Cassava can be often found at local African, Asian, or Latin markets.
Difference Between Yuca and Yucca
If you’re wondering if yuca root and yucca are the same - they’re not.
Yucca is a flowering plant, while yuca is a root vegetable. Yucca does not have edible roots, however, they do produce edible seeds, flowers, and fruit.
Health Benefits & Nutritional Value of Yuca
Not only is yuca delicious, hearty, and versatile, it also contains a high amount of vitamin C and antioxidants.
Vitamin C has plenty of health benefits, including fighting infections and viruses.
Antioxidants have been shown to fight and neutralize free radicals.
What Does Yuca Taste Like
Yuca is a long tuber with thick, dark flesh and starchy, white insides.
The cassava root has a flavor and texture almost similar to potatoes. And like potatoes, they can be mashed, boiled, fried, and roasted.
The flavor from yuca is mild with a subtle earthy and slightly sweet flavor. Because of its mild flavor, don’t hold back on seasoning and flavor!
How to Eat Yuca
One of my favorite ways of having yuca is Cuban-style, which is called “yuca con mojo.” The mojo is a sauce made with a combination of citrus juice (orange, lemon, or lime), olive oil, garlic, onion, and sometimes herbs.