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  1. #1
    PhD in Arrowheadology
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    Austin Tx/Puerto Ayacucho Amazonas Ven.
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    Deadly to Dinner-Yuca Processing

    Yuca is the mainstay of most Indiginous Amazon peoples. "Sweet" yuca requires little processing other than cooking while "sour" yuca contains cyanide and involves laborious processing to render edible. This thread concerns the latter.The finished cakes look like giant tortillas called casabe and a cereal like manyoko is also made.The expreemed cyanide collected from the sabucan wickerlike press is cooked down to the color of coffee and mixed with hot peppers and a large ant,bachacos, and used as hot sauce. The casabe and manyoko are cooked on a large griddle,budare, and sun dried. The last pic is my wife bringing home the bread.

  2. #2
    PhD in Arrowheadology
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    The tubers are peeled of the outer coating and soaked in baskets in the river for a day or so, the longer the more sour, and then grated on a board studded with sharp rocks. The resulting massa is placed into the sabucan press and notches in the frame are moved down until all the liquid is expreemed. A large wooden morter is used to further refine the flour befor it is sifted and placed on the budare griddle. Casabe cooks into a cake whereas manyoko is stirred continualy making a granular like product. The cooked down cyanide is used not only to make catara but also used as soup stock. The bachaco ants impart a very delicious flavor. Only the head is eaten and the body discarded. Bachacos are also roasted and eaten. Only within the last seventy years have the Yanomami learned the process. The Hoti (WauroWauro) only consume the sweet yuca as they are very nomadic and seldom remain in one local long and have a very limited material culture.

  3. #3
    Graduate Arrowheadologist
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    Thank you for that look into an exotic way of life. Is that similar t0 Tapioca being processed? I see that there is a good reason for inviting Ants to a picnic.

  4. #4
    PhD in Arrowheadology
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    Tapioca I don't know much about but the ants, well, they are the picnic!

  5. #5
    Tribal Council Member
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    Thanks for the great photos and information. So that was a major food source?

  6. #6
    Moderator
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    Thanks for posting those pictures, very cool. We eat it several times a week, one of the good things about living in South Florida is Venezuelan food is available in every grocery store. Most Archaeologists miss them, but you find little slivers of smashed rock that ancients used for shredding yuca on most sites. I find the griddle/budare plates on several sites.




    Meetmaker- Tapioca, Cassava, Yuca, Manioc, Mandioc, Sago, all are the same root vegetable. Not all countries process it quite the same way as most don't use the bitter/sour variety. Yuca is usually covered in wax and sold at hispanic markets in the US. Just peel it, boil it for a while in salted water and enjoy with a little olive oil drizzled over it.
    Last edited by joshuaream; 12-11-2011 at 11:23 PM.

 

 

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