Native home visit
I loved this visit! The natives gave us a demonstration on processing manioc/yuca/cassava. Manioc is abundant in the Amazon and they use it for everything. There are two types – bitter and sweet. The sweet manioc they just cook and eat. The bitter manioc has poison in the juice and they have to process it to make it edible. First they have to extract the juice then they have to drain it (using something like a cheesecloth). Next they let the flesh dry out then sift it, resulting in a coarse powder they can use for cooking. If they boil the liquid, it can also be used as a condiment or in cooking too.
|one of the tools they use to use to extract the liquid|
|giving the 'new' extraction equipment a whirl|
|sifting the manioc|
|sifting the dried manioc|
Our guide told us that people would fry the powder and carry it around on long journeys so they could just mix the powder with water for a meal - it expands in the stomach to make you feel
full (without actually providing any nutrients). They made some tapioca pancakes for us to sample (yummy) and also let us sample some Brazilian nuts.
|preparing tapioca pancakes for us|
The powder is also fried and mixed with different things (for example smoked meats, nuts, and fruits) to make farofa. Everyone has their own special recipe for farofa and they eat it with just about everything. The first time I tried it, I was not impressed, but I now eat it regularly over salad and with grilled meats. It adds a little flavor and a really nice texture to dishes. The powder is also used to make the ever popular pão de queijo (cheese bread) which I will eventually try to make (and blog about).
|the finished product - yummy tapioca pancakes|
|Holding a rubber ball|
This trip was so wonderful. It was a unique experience, fun, and educational. I really loved our time there and will always treasure the memories we have of the river, the jungle, the wildlife, and the people.