Cassava (Manihot esculenta; also called yuca, yucca, or manioc) is a woody shrub of the Euphorbiaceae (spurge family) native to South America that is extensively cultivated as an annual crop in tropical and subtropical regions for its edible starchy tuberous root, a major source of carbohydrates. The flour made of the roots is called tapioca. Cassava is the third largest source of carbohydrates for human food in the world. The name "cassava" is sometimes spelled cassaba or cassada. . In English language publications, the plant may be occasionally called by local names, such as mandioca, aipim, or macaxera (Brazil), kassav (Haiti), mandiÂ´o (Paraguay), akpu or ugburu (Nigeria), bankye(Twi-Speaking Ghana), mogo or mihogo (Swahili-speaking Africa), kappa (India), maniok (Sri Lanka), singkong (Indonesia), ubi kayu (Malaysia), kamoteng kahoy or balanghoy (Philippines), mushu (China), c? s?n or khoai mÃ¬ (Vietnam), and manioke or manioca (Polynesia) The cassava root is long and tapered, with a firm homogeneous flesh encased in a detachable rind, about 1 mm thick, rough and brown on the outside. Commercial varieties can be 5 to 10 cm in diameter at the top, and 50 to 80 cm long. A woody cordon runs along the root's axis. The flesh can be chalk-white or yellowish. 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 if supplemented with the amino acid methionine despite containing cyanide. Cassava-based dishes are widely consumed wherever the plant is cultivated. Some of these dishes have regional, national, or ethnic importance. Cassava heavy cakeCassava can be cooked in various ways. The soft-boiled root has a delicate flavor and can replace boiled potatoes in many uses: as an accompaniment for meat dishes, or made into purÃ©es, dumplings, soups, stews, gravies, etc.. Deep fried (after boiling or steaming), it can replace fried potatoes, with a distinctive flavor. Tapioca and foufou are made from the starchy cassava root flour. Tapioca is an essentially flavourless starchy ingredient, or fecula, produced from treated and dried cassava (manioc) root and used in cooking. It is similar to sago and is commonly used to make a milky pudding similar to rice pudding. Cassava flour, also called tapioca flour or tapioca starch, can also replace wheat flour, and is so-used by some people with wheat allergies or coeliac disease. Boba tapioca pearls are made from cassava root. It is also used in cereals for which several tribes in South America have used it extensively. It is also used in making cassava cake, a popular pastry. The juice of the bitter cassava, boiled to the consistence of thick syrup and flavored with spices, is called cassareep. It is used as a basis for various sauces and as a culinary flavoring, principally in tropical countries. It is exported chiefly from Guyana. Cassava is used in bubble drinks in East Asia. The leaves can be pounded to a fine chaff and cooked as a palaver sauce in Sierra Leone, usually with palm oil but vegetable oil can also be used. Palaver sauces contain meat and fish as well. It is necessary to wash the leaf chaff several times to remove the bitterness. In DR Congo the leaves are used in a stew called Pondu.