Colombian Food Adventures and Pan de Yuca

Yuca cookiesAt my recent visit to Colombia, I was served yuca bread by my cousins in Bogota. They explained that the egg-shaped concoction is a traditional Colombian bread made of yuca flour and cheese. . I had never heard of yuca, but after some research I learned it is made out of the starchy root vegetable also known as cassava. When I asked whether it was tapioca the natives thought no, but research confirmed that tapioca is indeed cassava starch.

When I looked for a recipe, I found to my surprise that pan de yuca contains no wheat flour. It is therefore gluten-free like most traditional South American recipes.

Erica of My Colombian Recipes posts a good recipe for Pan de Yuca. It calls for queso

Yuca, or cassava, a starchy South American vegetable

Yuca, or cassava

fresco, or fresh cheese, which you might be able to find in American grocery

stores. You can make queso fresco at home only make if you have access to unpasteurized milk.

Later, when visiting a Medellin grocery store, I came across fresh yuca for sale.

On the night before my flight, a Spanish-speaking friend and I went to pick up supplies. After my aborted visit to the Medellin shuk, I didn’t want to miss a last chance to take photographs of produce.  But a worker told us that we couldn’t photograph without permission.  I’m not sure what my friend told the manager, who agreed as long as we didn’t post the prices. I guess photos make it too easy for the competition to undercut prices.

I am still not certain about all of these items, and am hoping my Latin American readers can help out.


  1. Placido Etzioni says

    Isn’t the “kind of plantain” actually leaves of the agave plant?
    See here:

  2. Ms. Krieger says

    How is chayute squash used? I see it in my local grocery store a lot (the owners are good about catering to their Latino clientele) and I am often tempted to buy it but have no idea what to do with it. It is often stacked next to thick slices of a bright orange squash that I also have no idea how to use. And how about those agave leaves? What do you do with them?