CASSAVA TRIVIA (YUCCA)
See also: Article - Yucca
Cassava originated in Brazil. In the 16th century Portuguese sailors brought it to Africa, which now produces more than 50% of the world cassava supply.
This tropical vegetable, also called manioc, manihot, yucca root, yuca root, sweet potato tree and tapioca plant. Cassava is native to South America, in the Amazon Basin of Brazil, and was one of the first cultivated plants in the western hemisphere. It is now also widely cultivated in Indonesia, Malaysia the Philippines and parts of Africa.
Cassava contributes more to the world's calorie budget than any other food except rice and wheat.
Africa accounts for more than 50% of world cassava production.
Cassava leaves are also used as a vegetable in parts of Asia and Africa.
Cassava roots are a source of carbohydrates, but overall have poor nutritional value, containing little protein (1½%), vitamins or minerals. They are also highly perishable if not processed, usually going bad in one day.
Some varieties of cassava contain cyanide compounds and must be cooked thoroughly so as not to case lethal cyanide poisoning.
Scientific American May/2010
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