What is cassava? Also known as yuca, manioc or Brazilian arrowroot, it is a naturally gluten-free starchy root vegetable or tuber. Native to South America, it is one of the most drought-tolerant crops, being able to withstand very difficult growing conditions and marginal soils, giving good yield where many other crops wouldn’t do well.
In Brazil, it grows in every corner of the country and as an indigenous inheritance, Brazilians learned the importance of this tuber and how versatile it really is. It can be eaten whole, fried or boiled, grated or ground into flour to make our delicious Cheese Dots.
Oka is a Trappist (or monastic) style of cheese created in 1893 in the city of Oka, Quebec. Brother Alphonse Juin came from Bellefontaine, France with a recipe of Port-du-Salut cheese, that he adjusted and tweaked to create a unique cheese. The cheese won first prize at the Montreal Exhibition that same year. Since then, Oka has become a Canadian classic.
In 1981 the monks sold the recipe to Agropur, who are the sole producers of Oka. The cheese hasn’t lost its tradition though, it is still made according to the original recipe, using the same facility and same aging cellars the monks used.