Cassava is a nutty-flavored, starchy root vegetable or tuber. Native to South America, it’s a major source of calories and carbs for people in developing countries. It is grown in tropical regions of the world because of its ability to withstand difficult growing conditions — in fact, it’s one of the most drought-tolerant crops. In the United States, cassava is often called yuca and may also be referred to as manioc or Brazilian arrowroot. The most commonly consumed part of cassava is the root, which is very versatile. It can be eaten whole, grated or ground into flour to make bread and crackers. Additionally, cassava root is well known as the raw material that’s used to produce tapioca and garri, a product similar to tapioca. Individuals with food allergies often benefit from using cassava root in cooking and baking because it is gluten-free, grain-free and nut-free. One important note is that cassava root must be cooked before it is eaten. Raw cassava can be poisonous, which will be discussed in a later chapter.