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What is Cassareep?

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Cassava Cassareep

Dark, rich Cassava Cassareep

Photo by Cynthia Nelson

Cassareep is the juice of cassava boiled until it reduces and caramelizes. It is the creation of the Guyanese Amerindian (Indigenous Peoples) and is made from the juice of the bitter cassava. The juice is boiled long and slowly to remove any poisonous elements and impurities. The result is a thick brown liquid, cassareep. It is used to make one of Guyana's national dishes, Pepperpot.

Cassareep does not only give Pepperpot its distinctive flavor but it also acts as a preservative. It is for this reason that Pepperpot once cooked can remain at room temperature for days without spoiling. All that is required is that the dish be brought to a boil in the morning and evening of each day it is left on the stove top.

Uses

  • Cassareep can be used just as one would use browning to add color and depth of flavor to any dish.

  • Trinidadians like to use it in place of burnt sugar to make brown chicken stew and their famous pelau.

  • Some people even add it to their Christmas Cake to add to the signature dark color of the cake.

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