As a sign of friendship with Latin America, Besser International is now a proud sponsor, supporting the maintenance of the manioc plant in Berlin’s Botanic Garden.
The starch-rich tubers of manioc plants are one of the most important staple food crops in Latin America. However, these are inedible, even toxic, when raw, because they contain hydrocyanic acid. They can only be made edible through heating. In Spanish-speaking Latin America the root tubers are called yucca, in Brazil mandioca, and in African countries cassava. They can be boiled, roasted, fried, grilled or processed into flour. Manioc flour is found in a variety of Latin American specialties, and in Brazil, for example, in tapioca, a kind of crêpe. Manioc is now cultivated worldwide in the tropics. It is still not known if the plant exists in the wild.