The cassava was one of the main staples in the diet of the Tainos, the original settlers of the island, and has survived throughout history to become an important treat of modern-day Dominican cuisine. The cassava bread is now on the agenda of the Ministry of Culture and the Dominican Association of Anthropology, who have declared it as an important cultural element of modern Dominican cuisine.
According to historians, some 2,500 years ago the cassava root found its way from the Americas to the Caribbean. The cassava is a long eatable root.
On the island of Hispaniola the native Tainos used the cassava root to produce a thin, pancake-like bread, known locally as “casabe.”
The Tainos prepared the bread by grinding the cassava root into a thin powder, and then removed the remaining liquid with palm leaves. Once the pulp dried, they would dry the powder and then use it to make a thin, crisp cake.
Cassava bread is rich in carbohydrates and natural fibers, richer than flour, oats and rice. All local food stores, including supermarkets, carry fresh-made cassava bread.
Some chroniclers of the Spanish colonial period have written that the cassava became the perfect bread substitute during the long voyages between Europe and the Americas, since the cassava bread could last weeks without spoiling.
Garnish with Olive Oil
Because the cassava bread literally has no identifiable taste or odor, it is the perfect combination to eat with cheese, various sauces, olive oil and other spicy foods.
A popular presentation is to garnish the cassava bread with olive oil, a little salt and heat it in the oven or toaster to make a crispy and tasty cracker.
Cassava Bread with Garlic, Fresh Fruit, Jams and Many Other Treats
Many local producers have reinvented the cassava bread. Consumers will find in local supermarkets cassava bread with fresh fruit, jams, garlic and with many other treats.
Cassava Production Headed by Country’s Northwest Region
Currently, the country’s cassava industry is concentrated in the country’s northwest and central regions.