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Cazabes (Casabes) - Yucca tortillas?

rworange Sep 14, 2010 09:26 AM

Has anyone tried these? If so, how do they taste and what do you eat them with and how?

They seem to be in many sizes, some as large as a hula hoop. This article about Wal-Mart distributing them in their stores from small cooperative businesses, has a great photo of a woman making one in a traditional way ... or I'm guessing traditional ... looks authentic to me. I think the stove the cazabe is cooked on is called a budare ... but I'm not certain.
http://www.elheraldo.hn/content/view/full/100078

They also mention a company called O’big Mama already exports 1,200 pounds of casabas to ethnic communities in NY, though not through Wal-Mart.

So I'm figuring that given they are available in NYC someone here must have tried them ... or someone who traveled to Central or South America.

This chef has a nice article about cazabes in the Amazon with photos (it is in Spanish)
http://www.alimentacion-sana.com.ar/informaciones/chef/amigos%2018.htm#top

She writes fhe people in that region make "a gourmet food made of mysteries and cassava....The Cazabe is a thin cake made from a tuber called Bitter Cassava (Jatropha Manihot), which is grated and processed before being placed on a hot plate. The Cazabe served as a side dish in Indian meals. The process is interesting and full of wisdom"

I guess the wisdom is that raw casava is poisonous and they know how to process it so that the 'evil casaba loses its temper' and is edible. After being " flattened on a Budare (circular plate over 1 meter in diameter.) it is cooked until lightly browned. After cooking (and a rest) this great full moon takes on a crisp and crunchy texture and sweet flavor." Sometimes there's a romance in the way words are translated.

Supposedly they perk right up and reheat well which is probably why there is a market for imported cazabes. Full of fiber too and good for you.

She also has a recipe that adapts the cazabe to contemporary usage, making mini cazabes as a base for an appetizer topped with sauteed mushrooms, garlic and red, green and orange sweet peppers. Sprinkle with cilantro and add a dash of catara or other hot sauce. You might want to use an alternate hot sauce as catara is made from the tails of a large Amazonian ant called Bachaco (in Venezuela ) or big ass ant (in Colombia ) . The second wiki link in Spanish is more comprehensive and mentions catara "
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atta_laevigata
http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atta_laevigata

Article from the Discovery Channel "Crunchy, Big-Butt Ants Entice Gourmands" A new meaning to the song "I like big butts" Harrods sells the ants dipped in chocolate.
http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2006/08/14/ants_ani.html?category=animals&guid=20060814113000

But I digress ... A few more nice photos from other sites
http://www.universo.com.ve/images/hayaca/casabe.jpg
http://www.kalipedia.com/historia-mex...

Anyway, who has tried cazabes?

  1. Cheese Boy Sep 14, 2010 09:28 PM

    I've had these for quite a while now. You don't know what CRUNCHY is until you've tried cassava bread (Casabe). I like eating them plain for the "crunch" factor, and I like adding them into soups to achieve the "mush" factor. If you add them to your clear soups, they will absorb all the liquid and what's left is a nice moist cassava mash akin to say a dish of farina.

    Have a look at my reply in this thread and you can see how the Casabe is made in Guyana.
    Most of the Cassava Bread I purchase is made in the Dominican Republic, but I'm sure the cooking technique is comparable --> http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/688224

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