A root vegetable with a dark brown exterior and creamy, starchy interior. Cassava is mild tasting, with a slight sweetness and nutiness.
Originated in the Americas (either Brazil, Paraguay, Columbia, Venezuela, Mexico, or Caribbean islands).
Slave traders took cuttings of the cassava plant to Western Africa, where it was firmly established by the 16th century.
It is the fourth most important calorie crop in tropical regions. Cassava contains the glycoside linamarin, which can be poisonous if consumed. When prepared correctly, the toxicity is removed from the root.
New Oxford Book of Food Plants by John Vaughan et al. (2009)
The Oxford Companion to Food. 3rd ed., by Alan Davidson and edited by Tom Jaine (2014)