Casabe: It is a food that has been consumed in Cuba since the time of the Aborigines , the primitives made it using cassava as a raw material , which is a root that is cultivated practically throughout the country, and is considered one of the most liked viands by the Cuban population as a companion of roast pork in the popular Christmas festivities of December 31 , it was considered the bread of the natives, at present this food is still consumed in some cities of Cuban Geography, mainly in rural areas and mountainous.


[ hide ]

  • 1 Story
  • 2 It is part of the Christmas tradition in Cuba
  • 3 Cassava, fundamental raw material
  • 4 Technique for making casabe
  • 5 Everything is used
  • 6 Sources


Casabe is a food as old as the history of Cuba . Its consumption culture was inherited from the first Aboriginal inhabitants of the Antillean Archipelago, Caribbean Indians, Guajanatabeyes , Siboneyes settled in these island lands, discovered by Admiral Christopher Columbus , in 1492 .

Yes, there is a resemblance to cultural ancestors in the way of cultivating the land: abundant water supplied by canals or naturally, the favorite resource of the native Indians to plant cassava cassava in other latitudes near the Bohíos and produce Casabe , which for so many years he accompanied the Cuban tradition

Upon the arrival of Christopher Columbus , more than 25 centuries had elapsed from a discovery made by the Indians: that of the energy and nutritional wealth of cassava, which, subjected to a process created by them, was the raw material of casabe or bread. the land, as some chroniclers of the Indies would call it (Bastidas, 1991 ). Father Gumilla in ” El Orinoco Ilustrado ” stated in relation to casabe: “this is the most universal bread of all warm countries” ( Cardona , 1957 ). It is currently produced in Colombia , Guatemala , Belize , Haiti , the Dominican Republic ,Honduras , Brazil and Venezuela . The Dominican Republic and Venezuela are the main producing countries of casabe.

It is part of the Christmas tradition in Cuba

Who does not remember the Christmas or New Year holidays with the perfect company of casabe and roast pork on the spike or simply consume the golden animal by the candle linked with the yucca, according to preferences?
The people of Cuba currently constitute a continuator of that eating custom, because with their daily actions they intend to rescue an old tradition. Oscar Pérez Salas is the casabero of the UBPC San Cristóbal , the entity that supplies the Tuber , coming from its cultivation areas, close to a picturesque farmhouse with red zinc roofs
Six years ago this man defies the suffocating heat of the Buren, from which he extracts 75 or 80 cakes from each quintal of cassava processed

His first experience was in the city of Holguín where he saw it done and he liked it so much that he continued doing it to this day, since it is a good way to take advantage of cassava at any time.

Cassava, fundamental raw material

The word cassava comes from casabi, a name given by the Arawak Indians to cassava roots. In Spanish it is known as yuca; Manioc in French; cassava, in Portuguese; Cassave in Dutch and Maniok in German (Cooker and Coursey, cited by Carrizales, 1991. In Spanish, the processed product is called Casabe or Cazabe, cassave in French and Beiju in Portuguese.

The Yuca is mainly composed of starch and is essentially an energy food because of its high concentration of carbohydrates in the form of starches, it brings energy to the diet and supplements or replaces the energy provided by cereals. It is a good supplement or substitute for cereals, because a serving or portion of cassava weighing 100 g, or a size of 10 x 5 cm, is equivalent in calories to consuming a cup of cooked rice.

In turn, cassava is a highly digestible food, which is given by the structure of its starches. However, it contains cyanogenic glycosides that produce a very toxic substance, Hydrocyanic Acid , which is mainly concentrated in cassava root peel and in bitter varieties that have higher concentrations than sweet varieties.
On the other hand, cassava differs from cereals in that they contain a greater amount of water, between six and seven times more, therefore it will be necessary to consume more volume of the food to ingest the same amount of energy or calories as cereals. In turn, for the same reason, deterioration after harvests is faster, which influences the time and conditions of storage.

Cassava is one of the oldest plants cultivated in the new world, referring to clay representations of cassava roots from the Peruvian coast .

Technique for making casabe

The elaboration of the Casabe is linked to various factors that include the volume of cassava roots harvested, the availability of the ” Cazabera o ralla”, the number of people employed for the elaboration of the product and the season, since in the dry period the production is greater than in the rainy season. The set of objects that are used in its elaboration, from the scraping of the root to the drying of the cakes, is known as ” Tren de casabe ”

On the first day the roots are peeled to remove the bark and grated to obtain the flour known as “catebía” (catevía) wet. This is pressed to extract all the liquid or ” Yare “, which is very toxic and extremely rich in starches, ethanol , glucose, dextrose and other derivatives that are currently being lost, since it is not yet being used due to a lack of industrialization and modernization of the cassava agri-food circuit

On the second day the dried cassava flour is ground again and sifted, using a not very fine strainer. Then the flour is laid on a surface of baked or metallic clay, which have been previously heated to a temperature close to 160 ° C, in such a way that a uniform surface cake is formed, with a diameter of 10 to 90 cm and a thickness of 2 to 4 mm. After the cake is cooked on both sides, it can be dried in the open air exposed to the sun, or on a hot zinc. In both cases, the residual humidity of the casabe should be around 12% to avoid mold. The Casabe is very useful, as it can be stored without danger of decomposition.

At first glance whoever has never eaten it and tried it like this may not seem tasteless at all, but for its many virtues, for its easy digestion, and which also provides a high fiber content to the body, improving digestive functions has become the casabe in recent times the favorite of all.

Initially it was consumed as bread by the Indians , but later various nutritional properties have been discovered, such as its low calorie content and its high fiber content. Due to this its consumption has spread. Currently there are two varieties of cassava: the hard one, which needs to be dipped, and the cookie variety, whose fragility justifies its name. In restaurants it is presented as a contour, baked with butter or oil, garlic, parsley and cheese.

Everything is used

In addition to the Casabe, the indigenous people prepared, with the liquid that comes from the yucca , a fermented drink called yare or Chicha . And with the casabe itself, the Naiboa is also made , which results from sweetening it with paper and placing grated white cheese on it.


Leave a Comment