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Tapioca leaves are small to medium in size and are long, slender, and oblong in shape, averaging 15-20 centimeters in length. The vibrant leaves are glossy on the surface and matte on the underside with smooth edges. These palm-like leaves extend from the apex of the woody stems of the Tapioca plant and typically have 5-7 lobes that each contain a light green-yellow central vein that runs from the stem down the length of each leaf. It is best to consume Tapioca leaves when they are young and tender, as older leaves can be tough and fibrous. Tapioca leaves have a mild, bland flavor, similar to spinach.
Tapioca leaves are available year-round.
Tapioca leaves, botanically classified as Manihot esculenta, grow on a woody perennial shrub and are members of the Euphorbiaceae, or spurge family. Also known as Cassava or Yuca, tapioca is found in over forty countries worldwide and is an adaptable plant that produces large yields of high-caloric edible roots and leaves and can grow in poor soil. It is important to note that when raw, Tapioca leaves contain high amounts of hydrocyanic acid, which is toxic. To remove the toxins, Tapioca leaves must be boiled and cooked prior to consumption.
Tapioca leaves are an excellent source of beta-carotene, calcium, phosphorus, fiber, amino acids, and vitamins A and C.
Tapioca leaves must be cooked as the raw leaves are toxic and are best suited for applications such as boiling. They must be double-boiled for at least fifteen minutes in total to effectively remove harmful glucosides, which release the deadly hydrocyanic acid. Once processed, they are most commonly used in soups and stews with coconut milk. Tapioca leaves can also be used in salads and vegetable rolls once boiled. Young Tapioca Leaves are preferred as they are more tender, but older leaves can be pounded or ground using a mortar and pestle to break them down for cooking. Tapioca leaves can even be processed, along with the roots, into tapioca flour, which is commonly used for industrially-produced, ready-to-eat snacks. Tapioca leaves have a mild flavor profile and are often paired with garlic, chile, onions, turkey, anchovies, or dried shrimp. They should be used immediately after purchase when fresh, or they can be chopped and then frozen or dried for later use.
In Africa and South America, crushed Tapioca leaves are used in traditional medicine to help stop bleeding, as well as to reduce symptoms of diarrhea and fevers. The tapioca plant has so many uses in Guyana, a country in South America, that the Guyanese say that the tapioca plant has a spirit and is a people of its own. When one sees the leaves of the tapioca plant waving in the wind, it is those people waving to their human kin. Tapioca leaves are also a staple in Indonesian cooking and in the rural Philippines they are treated similarly to other greens that stand up to boiling and braising.
Tapioca is an ancient root crop that is native to South America and is estimated to have been domesticated around 5,000 to 7,000 BCE in the Amazon region. It was then introduced by Portuguese traders to Africa in the 16th century. Today Tapioca leaves can be found in fresh markets in Africa, Central and South America, Europe, the South Pacific, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast Asia, and the United States.
Recipes that include Tapioca Leaves. One is easiest, three is harder.
People have shared Tapioca Leaves using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.
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Near Ciputat, Banten, Indonesia
About 632 days ago, 10/31/19
Sharer's comments : daun singkong di superindo cinere depok
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About 650 days ago, 10/13/19
Sharer's comments : daun singkong
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