While at the Foire de Paris last week, I stopped by a stand operated by a company called Kassaverie Saveurs. It appeared that the cook there was preparing crêpes, that paper-thin pancake that the French are so good at making. It turned out, though, that she was making kassaves (also spelled cassave), a pancake made from manioc flour. Manioc is a starchy, tuberous root that has to be ground and then soaked before it can be eaten. The finished product is a flour that looks like grated coconut.
When I requested a chocolate-flavored kassave, the cook spread a heap of manioc flour on a large skillet and then added globs of chocolate to the heap. After a while, she covered the confection with another helping of flour and then flipped it like a pancake. When the pancake displayed a light-brown toasted color on both sides, it was done!
I took the kassave home, where I tasted it at room temperature, rather than warming it in the oven. Its texture was dry, grainy, spongy, and chewy, similar to the texture of day-old, whole-grain bread. The manioc flour tasted slightly sour, but otherwise did not have remarkable flavor. The part of the pancake that contained chocolate, though, tasted somewhat like a Hostess Sno Ball. My lasting impression of this confection was that eating it was similar to eating a chocolate sandwich that had been prepared with two slices of dry whole-grain bread.
A video (in French) on manioc production in Guadeloupe can be viewed here.
Kassaverie Saveurs is located in Guadeloupe.
3, Allée des Hibiscus
Cité des Sources
97130 Capesterre Belle Eau