Barbados Week: Cassava Myth and Cassava Pone with Black Pepper Ice Cream
My posts are getting later and later which means I am losing steam but I put a lot of effort in making this post today for Barbados week because it is a photo I wish was in Caribbean Vegan.
Today we are going to look at the root vegetable cassava also know as yucca.Many people are scared of it because they heard it was poisonous. I actually stated it was poisonous in Caribbean Vegan even if it is not technically. I wrote this as a security step. There are two types of cassava sweet or eating cassava or bitter which is poisonous. My father told me that no one plants bitter cassava anymore so there is no need to be paranoid by really eating cassava is not poisonous. To cook cassava properly cut into 2×2 inch cubes and boil in salted water for 35 to 40 minutes until tender or until the flesh starts to crack when you take it out of the pot. Take off the barky skin off of the cassava, this is not a potato and you need to remove the skin off of several Caribbean root vegetables so health nuts incorporated the skin here is not nutritious! Some ways to enjoy cassava are Grenadian Oil Down and Cassava Pone which is very popular in Tobago and Barbados. I never liked cassava pone as a child and I did not understand why grown people go ga ga goo goo for it yet, I never tried it. When I was developing recipes for Caribbean Vegan last year I tasted it for the first time and I understand why people love it so much.
The photo of cassava has a shiny bark because of the soil it was cultivated in. Barbados has a different soil so the bark is chalky and light brown. The flesh of the cassava varies from eggy yellow to white. The photo below shows the different colours. Anyways, with everything said still do not taste your pone batter regardless of if the cassava is eating cassava or not.
Cassava Pone is a gluten free dessert that is consumed in the South of the Caribbean; someone correct me if I am wrong on this one. It is made from finely grated cassava meaning cassava grated to a pulp and finely grated coconut, sugar, spices and melted margarine. It is very easy to throw together but it takes up to 2 hours to bake. The texture is not cakey but a positive chewy slight gummy and surprisingly this type of dessert is very popular with adults in the Caribbean. This recipe is in Caribbean Vegan and to do the plate you can make a vanilla icecream and add black pepper to it. The compote I did as a filler. I made the pineapple compote by slowly cooking the pineapple in brown sugar, rum , clove cinnamon and nutmeg and added some raisins.
Here is a closer look at the texture of the pone
Finally the Black Pepper Ice Cream. The Black Pepper Ice Cream is something I got at a restaurant/ hotel in Barbados and I was very intrigued with it especially the pairing with cassava. This is not an ice cream to eat when watching your favourite Friday night movie but it is a tasting ice cream that is not for the faint of heart. It tricks you as you taste a nice cold vanilla then BAMMMMM!!! a burning which is very usually for a dessert. Cassava pone is serve with black pepper in Tobago so I guess the chefs decided to take it up a notch and add black pepper to their ice cream. If I was doing this dessert I would make vegan whipping cream infused with black pepper as well and maybe pair it with a tropical fruit sorbet to take off the heat from the ice cream. Black pepper ice cream is addictive and after you are burnt you want to go back for more to cool the burn etc.
Here is my home made black pepper icecream..I do not do recipes just throw ice cream ingredients into the pan but I did use soy creamer, brown sugar and vanilla and then whisked in the black pepper. My ice cream has a bit of Earth Balance Vegan Butter to make it extra creamy.