Lettus Go To Colombia

Questions for this Discussion:

  1. What area of this region have you chosen to investigate and why?
    1. I have chosen to look at the Country of Columbia, because one of my Battle Buddies was from Colombia, and he went on and on about the food. It would be really cool to visit there one day.
  2. Is there a particular food or dish that this area/country/city is known for?
    1. While looking at the Colombian Foods Wikipedia Page (here) I found out they eat a lot of Cassava, a.k.a. Yuca (with 1 ‘c’, Yucca is something else), a.k.a. Brazilian arrowroot, manioc, and, tapioca. Cassava grows very well here in Hawai’i, and I really like it already. It is a very versatile ingredient. I like to make hashbrowns with shredded Cassava, and I once made Cassava Flour and then made Chocolate Chip, Bacon, Maple Syrup, and Cassava Cookies. They were an outrageous hit! I have also used it like potatoes, in stews and things. I have never eaten the leaves myself, although my goats and rabbits love them! The leaves DO NOT have to be cook to be fed to these two species.
  3. Please discuss any health-promoting information you find.  We encourage you to include pictures, illustrations, etc.
    1. Here [1] is the Wikipedia article on Cassava, with numerous sources to check out. Some details are;
      1. Cassava contains anti-nutritional factors and toxins, with the bitter varieties containing much larger amounts. [2] They must be properly prepared before consumption, as improper preparation of cassava can leave enough residual cyanide to cause acute cyanide intoxication, goiters, and even ataxia or partial paralysis.
      2. Cassava roots are very rich in starch and contain significant amounts of calcium (50 mg/100g), phosphorus (40 mg/100g) and vitamin C (25 mg/100g). However, they are poor in protein and other nutrients. In contrast, cassava leaves are a good source of protein (rich in lysine) but deficient in the amino acid methionine and possibly tryptophan. [3]
      3. It is also a good feed for ruminants [4] and rabbits[5].
    2. Please remember to include the sources where you found your information – websites (full address), blogs, books, magazines, etc
      1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassava
      2. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, “Roots, tubers, plantains and bananas in human nutrition”, Rome, 1990, Ch. 7 “Toxic substances and antinutritional factors”, third paragraph. Document available online athttp://www.fao.org/docrep/t0207e/T0207E00.htm#Contents. Ch. 7
      3. Ravindran, Velmerugu (1992).“Preparation of cassava leaf products and their use as animal feeds.” (PDF). FAO animal production and health paper. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (95): 111–125. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
      4. https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=feed%20goats%20cassava
      5. https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=feed+rabbits+cassava


Discussion 2

  • Remind us what area/country you are focusing on.
    • We are studying the country of Colombia this week
  • What foods did you find that were local to your selected area? Did these foods have health-promoting properties?
    • Colombians eat a lot of Cassava, that I discussed in my previous post
    • They also enjoy a great variety of locally grown tropical fruits and vegetables such as;
      • Cherimoya,
      • Granadilla
      • Guanabana
      • Brazilian Guava
      • Lulo fruit and juice
      • Mamoncillo
      • Maracuya
      • Pitahaya
        • These are known by different names in different places.
      • This is a list of some famous Colombian dishes.
  • If so – please share a recipe for one of these foods and discuss how it promotes health.
      • This site discusses a dish called Carimañolas
        • It is a mashed Cassava shell filled with either a meat or cheese stuffing and deep fried.
        • Deep friend might not be the healthiest way to cook these, if I was being healthier I would probably bake them

Recipe of Carimañolas

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes

Ingredients (for 10 Carimañolas)

1 1/2 lb frozen or fresh yuca, peeled and cut in large chunks
Vegetable oil for frying

For meat filling

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 scallion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 lb ground beef


In a large pot, place the yuca, salt and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 25 minutes or until fork tender.

Drain the yuca and remove any fiber from the center. Using a potato masher, mash the yuca, cover and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.

Add the onions, red bell pepper and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, scallions, cumin, salt, black pepper and cook for about 1 minute, stirring often.

Add the ground beef and cook until the meat is cooked trough, about 7 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes more.

Remove from the heat, adjust the seasoning and let it cool.

Divide the yuca mixture into 10 balls. Make a hole through the center of each ball with your finger.

Place about 1 tablespoon of meat filling and gently close the ball, giving an oval shape.

In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil and heat to 350 F.

Add the carimañolas to hot oil and cook about 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown, turning them often.

Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve warm with ají.


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