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Baton de Manioc (Cassava Staple)

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  1. Several pounds of cassava tubers
  2. Banana leaves 


  1. Soak the cassava tubers in water for 3 days or longer. (In Gabon, this may be done in a pond or stream.)
  2. Peel the tubers and wash them in large tub, changing water several times.
  3. Use a mortar and pestle (or other tool) to pound the tubers into a thick, smooth paste.
  4. Put the paste into banana leaves, fold them into packets, and tie them closed.
  5. Make the packets uniform in size; 2 sizes are common in Central Africa: either 1 to 2 inches in diameter by 12 inches in length, or 4 inches in diameter by 12 inches in length.
  6. Stack the packets in a large pot. Add enough water to steam them, cover tightly, and boil for 4 to 8 hours. The finished baton de manioc should be very thick and solid (nearly the consistency of modeling clay).
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