CASSAVA DISHES – by Dmitri Allicock


by: Dmitri Allicock


cassavaCassava bread is one of the foods given to the Guyana by the native people (Amerindians) of Guyana. It is traditionally one of the best known and consumed food. Its preparation is extensive work. In the days of difficult travel and trade, it served as a major staple and carbohydrate provider to their diet.

Cassava grows all year long in Guyana and is about the easy crop to cultivate. It is as simple as placing a stem of the cassava plant into well tilled soil. The cassava plant matures in about seven months and is ready for harvesting. Once the cassava root is harvested, it must be peeled; it reveals it’s white under skin, similar to that of a potato but much larger. After washing the peeled cassava, it is grated. The cassava at this point looks like white cheese.

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  • Deborah Hamilton  On 06/25/2012 at 2:24 am

    Hi Cyril,
    I’m now living in Brampton, but I discovered /created quite a few cassava dishes of my own such as using farine, soaked in milk and using it as a base for pizza! Sheppard’s pie using the same farine soaked in milk and layering as with regular sheppards pie, or sometimes the fresh boiled and crushed cassava. Also there is the Fillipino version of cassava pone, where I use the farine, soaked in milk until soft, then I add evaporated milk, sugar, nutmeg and other ingredients and bake. I’ve also substituted farine for burgol wheat in Tabouli and other middle eastern dishes, and substituted for cous cous dishes too! While I was doing National Service in the 80″s in Kimbia, we had cassava curry, in soup, my favourite was crushed, then when teaching Hospitality in Toronto we did Cassava foo foo with steamed fish etc, Quite a versatile root, beacuse there is also the bami with salt fish and bora. Or in the islands, ackee and saltfish wrapped in bami.


    • guyaneseonline  On 06/25/2012 at 2:27 am

      Hello Deborah:
      Glad to hear from you.
      Thanks for your contribution to this item on the Blog.
      I am sure that some of the readers may try out your recipes.
      Kind regards

  • guyaneseonline  On 05/19/2014 at 8:15 pm

    Reblogged this on Guyanese Online and commented:

    Here is an interesting article by Dmitri Allicock that was carried on June 8, 2012. Many of the readers may not have seen it before so it has been rebloged.

  • Deen  On 05/20/2014 at 12:43 pm

    Thanks Dmitri for another informative article about the cassava bread, a staple among the indigenous Amerindians. Also, cassava byproducts : cassareep, parikari and sarawi.
    During my early years in Guyana, I’ve lived in and visited Orealla, an Amerindian village up the Corentyne River and I recall they made two alcoholic beverages from cassava called “Bambali” and “Piwari”……have you heard about them?
    As you know, two of the cassava desserts we all love are the cassava pone and quinches.

  • Dmitri Allicock  On 05/21/2014 at 12:36 am

    Oh yes Deen, my folks enjoyed the drinks. I love cassava pone- corner piece where the happiness settled a bit more. Thanks and always glad to hear Deen.

  • Ron. Persaud  On 05/21/2014 at 7:38 pm

    Two bits of trivia.
    I was horrified to see Wapisiana children being “fed” parakari … until a medical officer pointed out that it was a good source of vitamin B!
    2. During my short stint at Aishalton, Leo Gomes, another teacher composed a song with the following refrain.
    “We all like rum! Parakari and fresh Wariwun!
    Sawaraow and cane juice are drinks we never refuse!
    Form a straight conversation with us and very soon you will find…
    You don’t have to have a good acumen,
    For the subject is strictly women!.”
    Sorry, I cannot write a musical score; nor can I sing.

  • Ron. Persaud  On 05/22/2014 at 6:52 am

    I remember street vendors selling a kind of “cassava pie”. The “crust” was white cassava meal and the filling was grated coconut – often colored – and of taste and texture like “sugar cake” which was a separate and tasty offering of the ubiquitous street vendor.
    Seldom did my meager financial resources allow the gratification of that luscious treat which was one of a very few items contained in a glass case.
    (Maybe not so) trivia: There are two distinct types of cassava – bitter and sweet.
    ( I have often wondered how many Amerindians died in the process of learning that proper peeling, squeezing and cooking of bitter cassava rendered it wholesome for human consumption … and where are the medals posthumously awarded to these brave souls?
    Further, it is evident that animals cannot distinguish the poison associated with bitter cassava.
    Vibert Dejesus, another teacher at Aishalton, lost his pet dog which lapped some bitter cassava juice which had been left out to evaporate to produce starch. There was an unconfirmed story that a cow died similarly.

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