Tropical plant

Amazon Interactive
Making a Living

Forest panorama

What do people eat?

 Manioc (yuca) Manioc, also called cassava and yuca, is a staple food for the Quichua. It grows underground, like a potato. Most people also boil it like a potato. However, it does not taste like a potato. It's starchy and rather bland.

Plantains look like large bananas, but they have a bitter taste unless cooked. They can be picked green or yellow.  

 Fried queen ants with manioc The Quichua add variety to their diet with other crops such as sweet potato, chili peppers, and various fruits and nuts from the forest. They also enjoy an annual harvest of queen ants with egg sacs. The ants can be eaten fresh, but are often fried and eaten wtih a side of manioc (left).

Would you like to learn more about the animals that you'd eat in the Amazon?


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