A great variety of cassava-based dishes are consumed in the regions where cassava (manioc, Manihot esculenta) is cultivated, and they include many national or ethnic specialities.
As a food ingredient, cassava root is somewhat similar to the potato, in that, like the potato, it is starchy, inedible when raw, and bland in flavor when cooked. Indeed, cassava can replace the potato in many dishes and can be prepared in similar ways – it can be boiled, mashed, fried or baked. Unlike the potato, however, cassava is mostly a tropical crop, and its peculiar characteristics have led to some unique recipes, such as sweet puddings, which have no common potato version. In some parts of the world (chiefly in Africa and Southeast Asian nations of Indonesia and the Philippines), cassava leaves are also cooked and eaten as a vegetable.
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