Cassava (also know as Manioc, or Yuca) is a staple of both African and Brazilian cookery. The starchy root, which must be either cooked or dried and fermented before grinding into to a flour is rich in carbohydrates, calcium and vitamin C.
Cassava flour provides a great chewy texture to flat-breads, tortillas, pupusas, fry breads and the like, with its starchy mouthfeel making it an appealing accompaniment to spicy soups, curries, chili etc.
Otto’s Naturals is the only Cassava flour on the market that is certified Gluten-Free, Kosher, Paleo, and Non-GMO Project Verified. Unlike other flour blends. that may use binders, like xanthan gum, Otto’s Naturals is a single-ingredient flour made from 100% Non-GMO Yuca root — absolutely no additional ingredients are used except water.
The flour is also pre-baked instead of sun-dried and fermented, which is the traditional method. Drying and fermentation (a process similar to that used with chocolate or coffee) is typically used to render harmless the toxins that naturally are found in the root and make it safe to consume. But the method may also leave the flour with a slight musty odor that may be seen as intrusive to chefs attempting to replicate delicate wheat-based baked goods.
Otto’s Naturals a new company with products available throughout California, offers a novel pre-baking method for its Cassava flour that provides the same level of safety and a slightly more refined product.