Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What's for Breakfast? Cassava Porridge!

In rural Angola, the cassava plant is one of the most important foods because of its availability and adaptability to the Angolan environment.  This root vegetable can be transformed into flour, tapioca or even alcohol. Cassava porridge is a common Angolan breakfast.

Cassava is a potato plant that grows to a height of 5-8 feet. It is grown in most of Africa’s countries and other tropic countries in the world. The root is very starchy and that is the portion of the cassava plant used for human consumption. The Cassava root varies from 50-70 cm long. It grows in clusters of 2-6 and is covered with a brownish bark fibrous that is removed by peeling.

The cassava roots are peeled, washed and cooked, boiled or grated and squeezed dry, fermented and then toasted, made into cassava bread or processed into foofoo, a moist foodstuff. Foofoo is prepared by boiling the starchy cassava flour to a thick paste or porridge in water and mixing until the desired consistence is reached. The roots are also used for animal feed and the starch for laundry starch and glue.

Cassava can also be sourced in North America and in Europe . Following, I have added a common North American Cassava Porridge Recipe from TriniGourmet.com

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup cubed cassava
4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tin condensed milk
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

METHOD:

1. Blend cassava with 2 cups of the water.
2. Boil the other two cups of water with the salt.
3. Slowly pour in the cassava liquid and lower heat.
4. Simmer until creamy (whisk rapidly until the texture thickens and the liquid appears glossy. Don’t be surprised if translucent ‘bits’ appear to settle at the bottom, they are tasteless and can easily be reintegrated through extra whisking or putting the mixture in a blender before continuing to the next step) recipe. 

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