Ecuador is an incredibly biodiverse and multicultural country and its gastronomy is a reflection of this. Each region prepares its most traditional dishes based on its closest products, thus creating its own combinations and recipes.
Cassava being the fourth most important commodity in the country, after rice, wheat and corn; It is cultivated and consumed in all the provinces of the country, including in the Galapagos. It is a traditional crop and its culinary uses depends on the region in which it is produced.
There are countless variations of cassava, in fact, in the Kichwa region, 31 different types of cassava (28 of white tonality with starch and 3 yellow) have been found. All of them are used either for food or for medicinal purposes. However, not only do they vary in color but also in size and shape.
Native to South America and the Caribbean, it is an inexpensive source of calories and there are a variety of dishes that are based on this tuber such as cassava locro, cassava sancocho, cassava menestra, cassava breads, muchines, tamales and traditional drink, chicha. Each of these foods reflects a different culture and region.
In addition to being tremendously versatile, it has several beneficial properties such as complex carbohydrates and a high content of vitamins, minerals and fiber. It also performs as a detoxifying and cleansing agent.
As we mentioned, it is the base of the chicha and this drink is the star of the Ecuadorian Amazon. Therefore, cassava has a symbolic value since cassava chicha is traditionally consumed in this region.
Diana Ramírez R.
Image credits: Pinterest (NutriOptima)