Experiments with Fermented Cassava

We stopped by our friend PJ’s house the other day while we were on her side of town looking at a chest freezer we found on Craigslist.  She loaded us up with more grapefruits, showed us her chickens and her garden, and insisted we take all the pablano peppers that loaded the five or so bushes she had still going.  They turned out to be fairly sweet.  We stuffed them with homemade chevre and home-brined ham and flamed them under the broiler in the oven.  They were so good!

There were still so many left, Ethan made an Indian pickle from my “Curries without Worries” cookbook.  It went great with the fried cassava we have been subsisting on in between Christmas dinners (we have several every year due to so much nearby family).
This time I soaked the cassava for several days, changing the water every day.  I’ve read that is how it is usually prepared.  For the first several days, I could smell the cyanide coming off in the water.  It got less and less bitter and better and better to fry up, until the sixth day or so, when it suddenly got a funky, cheesy smell that I didn’t like.  I fried some of it up anyway, but it was too strong-flavored and kind of slimy for me to choke down.  Ethan liked it, but he has had a nose infection that keeps him from really being able to smell.  I changed the water one last time, but the next day the roots were so mushy and smelled so funky, I just put them in the piggie bucket.  I think if I maybe am more careful about changing the water more often, it won’t get quite so strong.  It was really good until that point.

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