All foods made from cassava plant in Cameroon

Cassava is an annual plant grown mostly by peasant farmers living in tropical Africa. This article talks about the various products that can be made from cassava, that is by using cassava as a raw material for obtaining other products.

In tropical regions, mostly in central Africa, cassava is now becoming more and more important and has been drawing the attention of the local government.
Recently, the government of Cameroon has provided incentives and verified cassava seeds to help the peasant farmers boost their annual output of cassava. The shortage of cassava in the market can be attributed to the extensive application/use of cassava as a route to getting to other foods. Without so much tangential information may we now jump straight into the various end meals of cassava!

1.    Cassava is used for making garri

Garri is perhaps the most obvious end product of cassava. In making garri, cassava from the farm is cleaned, washed and gratered into small fine pieces to obtain the size of sand grains. Then it is tied up into pressure bags and allowed to hang freely on pulleys to permit water drain from the bags and maintain the grained cassava dry. After a week or more (depending on the type of cassava) the pressure bags are opened and its contents scattered into grains. Thereafter, the grains are dry-fried in a special pot for dry-frying cassava. In the process of dry-frying, if a little palm oil is applied, the resultant product will be yellow garri and on the other hand if no palm oil is used then the resultant product will be white garri.

2.    Cassava is used for making miondo

Photos of three types of miondo

Miondo is made from cassava in a similar way to how garri is made from the same. With miondo, the harvested cassava is washed, and kept under water in a covered pot for four to five days (the number of days depends on the type of cassava and the atmospheric temperature). After the cassava is soft enough, it is removed and grinned either traditionally or using a modern molinex to obtain chyme-like powder. The powder is wrapped in special leaves and tied with dry plant stems which serve as ropes or ropes of modern bags could be used for tying the cassava chyle. The tied structures are then boiled in a pot for thereabouts of an hour to obtain the solicited miondo.

3.    Cassava is used for making Nkoumkoum

Photo of nkoumkoum

To obtain nkoumkoum from cassava, the cassava from the farm is cut up without removing the veins and soaked for five to six days under water in a pressure pot to ensure that it ferments. After fermentation, the cassava is removed from the pot and allowed to dry naturally under the sun to obtain nkoumkoum. The dry nkoumkoum is then grained and kept in a cool dry place for use as food whenever the need arises.

4.    Cassava is used for making Water fou-fou

Photo of water fou-fou

Water fou-fou is perhaps the most prestigious of all end meals of cassava. It features in presidential dinners and such as this - thanks to the Bayanguis. To obtain water fou-fou from cassava is very similar to the process of making miondo. In a nutshell, the cassava is soaked under water in a pressure pot and allowed for days to permit it ferment. After fermentation, it is taken to the grinding meal and grinned with water to obtain a chime like paste that is then put in pressure bags to allow it drain freely for days and the solid obtained is stored in cool dry places to be used as food whenever the need arises.

5.    Cassava leaves are used for making Pkwem

Photo of pkwem

Almost every part of cassava is being reused; the roots are eaten, the stems are replanted and the leaves can be used to make pkwem. In order to obtain pkwem from cassava, the leaves are carefully sliced into small pieces, brought to the boil and allowed to simmer. Thereafter, the cooked leaves are used for making the traditional soup of the yaounde people. The details of how to prepare “pkwem” are discussed in the article on “how to make pkwem like a Yaoundé native (i.e. the right way)”

6.    Cassava is edible as cassava

I did not deem it necessary to include this point under the foods made from cassava plant but latter thought of at least mentioning it. That is why it is coming up as the last point. But this does not imply that the points above are in order of importance.

Cassava is itself food and can be eaten after boiling or roasting it. Usually, it is taken with pears or plums. The natural seasoning of fruits in Cameroon make it look like a natural coincidence that plums and pears get ready just around the period of massive cassava harvesting, that is May to September.

In conclusion, cassava is a great cash crop that is underutilized or whose transformability has not been fully harnessed. If well exploited, cassava can go a long way to alleviate poverty and increase living standards of farmers as the single crop can be transformed into several other forms thereby increasing the market for cassava which has been on a constant rise in the last five years. It is even rumoured that cassava can be used for making fuel. So, farmers in the tropical regions of central African countries should be educated on the economic importance of cassava to them and hence the society as a whole.

Your thoughts are unique and your opinion counts. Please leave your comment in the comment box below and if you know of any other meal that is made from cassava share it with the world by including it in your comment.

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