Maniçoba – Green is good for you, right?

Maniçoba is a festive dish in Brazilian cuisine, especially from the Amazonian region. It is of indigenous origin (from the Tupi mani, godess of Mandioca), and is made with leaves of the Mandioc / Cassava plant that have been finely ground and boiled for a week. To these boiled leaves (called “maniva” in Portuguese), salted pork, dried meat, and smoked ingredients, such as bacon and sausage, are added. The dish is served with rice and cassava meal (called “farinha”). The dish is most found in Belém. People usually eat “maniçoba” during the Círio de Nazaré, the city’s largest religious festival that takes place in October.

The ‘maniva’ actually contains hydrogen cyanide and therefore is cooked for at least 4 days before being okay to consume. After hearing that and seeing that it looks like grass stew, I’m a little taken aback by it but if presented with the chance, I’d have to have a taste because it’s a favorite dish in Belém.