Yucca has become a favorite of mine for its special qualities in texture and taste. Some people will say it taste similar to a white potato, but I would say that's half true.
The tuber is very popular in Cuban and Caribbean cuisine. Although you can use this hearty vegetable to take the place of a potato in some of your favorite recipes, the texture is "denser" and is somewhat slightly creamer than a potato when boiled. It also is starchier.
Yucca is naturally gluten free and makes a great addition to the diet for those who need to avoid gluten.
If you want a tasty version of eating yucca, try making yucca fries! They are absolutely delicious. (You can also air fry if you don't want to indulge.) They will still be delicious. Just coat with a light coating of olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Yucca should always be peeled from its waxy exterior and often times you should remove the tough inner core as it is hard and can become stringy if not removed.
Another tasty way of having yucca is to have it Cuban style with pickled red onions! Here is my version of yucca that has been boiled. The pickled red onion mixture gets a bath in extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic sauteed, cumin, white vinegar and fresh squeezed lime juice with ground cumin and oregano with salt and pepper to taste. Yum!
One last way you can enjoy yucca is to add to soups or stews as it will naturally thicken.
If you're wondering if yucca is hard to find, actually is quite easily available. You will usually find it near your produce isle where you would find other tropical vegetables. Otherwise, you could always visit a Latin market or Caribbean store to purchase.
I hope you give yucca a try for a change of pace with your meals!
Eat Good! Look Good! Feel Good!
Vanessa LaBranche/Chef Instructor-Culinary Educator