Also called yucca, manioc, and tapioca, this root of Brazilian origin resembes a large, brown, elongated sweet potato. It can be almost a foot long. It was introduced to tropical Asia by the Portuguese in the seventeenth century and has been used since in stews and desserts. In the southern Phillipines it is grated and steamed and eaten as a staple instead of rice.
Cassava needs to be peeled under running water. It has a hard, white flesh that turns slightly glutinous when cooked.