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Food: Yucca – Possibly Deadly, Definitely Delicious

October 24, 2010
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If you know me, you’ve heard my rant about sweet potato fries.  In short, they annoy me. I love a good french fry, I really do. But sweet potato fries are not fries, and even if I agreed to give them the “fry” designation they are rarely cooked correctly. The one exception to this for me has been Atwood’s in Cambridge, where they make shoestring sweet potato fries that are thin and salty and almost fry-like.  Otherwise, sweet potatoes cut in strips and cooked in a vat are usually too greasy, too mealy, and too thick to be called fries. But, as much as sweet potatoes get under my skin, I heartily endorse the candidacy of Yucca dipped in hot oil to become an official member of the fry family.

not deadly

Yucca, also known as cassava, is a starchy root that actually looks a little like a sweet potato (don’t hold that against it). In terms of taste, it is similar to regular potato with just a bit more sweetness. The main difference between yucca and potatoes is the texture- yucca is firmer and more stringy. And, it can be tough, fibrous, and release a cyanide toxin if not prepared properly.
Perhaps the danger of eating yucca is what makes these fries so alluring…
Anyway, when prepared correctly, yucca fries are excellent: firm, starchy, and not as porous as regular fries, which means they don’t absorb as much oil as their potato brethren. I recently had some at Tamari and they were so good we ordered a second batch before we had finished the first. In short,  if you see yucca fries on the menu, give them a shot. If they don’t kill you, they will probably be delicious. If you see sweet potato fries on the menu, shoot them a withering glare for me.


One Comment leave one →
  1. October 31, 2010 11:12 am

    Sweet potato fries are awesome when done well, done badly they are soggy limp disappointments and a reminder of all that is wrong in the world.

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