Sunday, 8 August 2010

Cassava - the Pan Pacific Food of Champions!

Last Sunday after collecting Mr T and old friend Waips (Waipuna) from the airport I convinced Mr T to join me on a visit to the South Sydney Industrial Markets to check out what was on offer.

The market is still in its infancy and that is probably what makes it more enjoyable - being able to stop and talk to sellers without the constant assault on your senses that a lot of the other Sydney markets suffer from.

One of my little jaunts at the stalls we met Rosa (Rosalind Boey) or "Rasa Rosa" as her business is known.  This cherubic lady of Malaysian origin defies her accounting origins and joyfully attracts passersby to come and sample the lovely Malaysian sweets she has on offer. 

One that definitely caught my eye was the humble cassava cake Kuih Bingka Ubi Kayu.  I say "humble" because the cassava (manioc) is one of the root vegetables found Pan Pacific that has fed many no matter how poor and yet conjures up such wonderful nostalgia.  Fiji also has a cassava cake known as vakalolo and my aunt here in Sydney having discovered the mostly Pinoy (Filipino) grocers near her discovered the conveniently grated cassava and makes vakalolo for me whenever I come to visit (one of my favourites!). Indo-Fijians have embraced the delicacies of their adopted homeland and it partners well with Indian sweets.


Visit Rosa's stand and you will get to sample her baked and steamed cassava cake varieties.  I had to buy both so that I could enjoy them with a nice cup of tea in the afternoon. They were delicious.  The consistency of her cakes are heavenly, they are lightly sweetened (traditionally a caramelly sugar like brown or palm is nice but condensed milk is great too!), slightly buttery, not too gooey (cassava is very starchy and like tapioca gets really sticky) and had just the right balance of shredded coconut to cassava.

Of course I am now motivated to try the asian-style cassava cake recipes (Filipino/Malaysian ones that get the egg custard consistency) and the Fijian vakalolo (no eggs). So will be off to prepare cassava cake today and maybe a lime and coconut cake (with palm sugar syrup)!  And if I give up I'll just pop back into the markets!

The visit to the markets by the way was also accompanied with a loaf of bread (and noms) from Brasserie Bread, and milk and cheese from Country Valley. Great little trip!

Posted via email from Radhika's posterous


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