Friday, May 1, 2009

Yuck! A Yuca!

As I mentioned in my last post, CCV is hosting a challenge to try out new foods and I'm all game! I surveyed Whole Foods yesterday [study break=grocery shopping :)] and pondered what I should try... In the produce aisle my eyes strayed to this:

A Yuca root from Costa Rica. Why not?? The little sign said it was a starchy tuber that tasted like a cross between coconut and a potato-what???? The guy at the checkout asked me what I was going to do with it, and I told him I had no idea, any suggestions?? He said they were good fried, but he'd never tried it at home. So I turned to my bff, google.
First, what is Yuca??? According to it is a tropical root vegetable, grown in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and South America, so most DEFINITELY not local. 140 calories in an average sized tuber, this vegetable is often prepared and served much like a potato as a side dish or added as an ingredient in soups and stews. The texture is very absorbant, so the flesh of the root takes on the flavor of any other ingredients combined with it when baked, boiled, fried, or sauteed. The root contains significantly more fiber content and only slightly more potassium than a potato. It is commonly used to make tapioca, tapioca flour, pancakes, and snack chips, and may be called Cassava Root, or Manioc. It is often mistakenly referred to as Yucca, which is a non-edible plant from the Agave plant family.
Next, what do I do with it? I found a wide array of possible recipes, ranging from fried yuca to yuca puddings. A lot of soups and BBQ dishes, all with a latin/carribian flair. Well, I don't do fried, and didn't have the patience or time to make a pudding, so I modified this recipe from Melissa's Organics:

Simple Yuca Simmer
  • 1/2 pound Yuca root
  • Lemon Juice
  • A bit of Minced Garlic
  • A Sprinkle of Thai Chilis
  • Black Pepper
  • Dash of Braggs Liquid Aminos
[I don't measure spice ingredients in dishes like this, can you tell??]

1. Rinse Yuca well, peel and halve lengthwise. Remove fibrous core. Combine with other ingredients in a small pan with enough water to cover Yuca. Bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat, and cook until the Yuca is soft. Eat.

Well, that was interesting. Verdict- I do not like Yuca. Maybe it was just this plain way of eating it, but it was... weird... It tasted like I was eating tapioca powder (and i do kinda know what that tastes like-once i didn't fully cook my tapioca pearls. exact same taste and texture) i don't know where Whole Foods pulled that Coconut inspiration from. It doesn't really have a taste, it just tastes like the spices, etc. But I do like tapioca, so thank you for existing, little Yuca plant. Well, At least I tried something new! This is fun! What shall I find for next time???

My life right now consists of Studying, Studying and Studying. (and obviously taking little breaks on the computer). I'm doing more yoga/pilates to try to bring more focus and calm into my day. Having 4 cumulative finals is not fun. 5 more days, 5 more days. The library is my best friend, but I want the sun and heat to come back so I can study outside!!

Ok I've wasted enough time-Have a fabulous Saturday!


ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Aww :(

We both had bad experiences our first week. Oh well, at least there are countless other foods to be explored!

I've never had a yucca... now I'm not too saddened by that!

Gina said...

I actually had yuca for the first time yesterday, yuca chips with black bean hummus, and they were awesome, although I liked them even more plain, they needed no hummus, hehe.

Sorry you didn't have a better first yuca experience :(

Ray & Divanny said...
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