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Yuca Bread: A Delicious Treat in Cuenca Ecuador

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One of the yummy treats we like to pick up when we are on the go is called yuca bread. We hadn’t heard of yuca bread until we moved to Cuenca and we were hooked from the first time we tried it.

We usually stop into our favorite yogurt/yuca bread shop and get a dozen of the soft (and warm) little buns to take with us as we walk into the city center.


What Is Yuca Bread Made From?

Yuca bread is made from the Cassava or Yuca root. The yuca root can not be eaten raw (not that you would want to :)) it has to be cooked properly to detoxify it. It must be soaked and/or boiled before being consumed.

If it is not properly detoxified, it can cause serious health problems. Here in Ecuador it is a common food and is often eaten much like a potato. It’s also sold in bags as a snack food and tastes a lot like potato chips.

We didn’t think we had ever eaten yuca before moving to Ecuador. But we were actually eating it regularly – and just didn’t know it.

Bryan and Drew are allergic to corn, so I used tapioca starch in place of cornstarch. Turns out that tapioca starch comes from the yuca root.

Although the yuca root is starchy, the bread isn’t. It’s light and fluffy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Yuca bread is made with cheese and has a salty taste. Whenever we eat it, we pick up a bottle of water.

Many of the places we see yuca bread being sold also sell yogurt. I think the cheesy-salty flavor of the yuca bread would go well with some nice cool yogurt.

Our Favorite Place For Yuca Bread

We have tried yuca bread from a number of different locations and while we liked all of it (except the frozen kind from the grocery store that we baked ourselves = SALTY!) our favorite is definitely from a little shop called Deleyt on Luis Cordero y Juan Jaramillo 5-92.

Enma (the shop owner) is so sweet and her yuca bread is always wonderful. Each bun costs $0.15.

Four or five of the little buns make a nice snack, and they are easy to eat while walking because they are small and not flaky.

I always feel a little silly eating a flaky pastry while on the go because it usually ends up sprinkled on my sweater with a little crumb or two sitting precariously somewhere on my face. I don’t have to worry about that with yuca bread.

Have you tried yuca bread? Where did you eat it and what did you think of it? Please share with us by commenting on this post.

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  1. I tried yuca bread for the first time while living in Cuenca as well. Really enjoyed it and will have to find it somewhere to buy it or make it back home. For some reason it reminds me a little of sour dough. I never guessed it had cheese in it until I read the recipe. I can’t remember what shops I picked it up at in Cuenca, but I would get it either with a yogurt or hot chocolate.

  2. Ecuadorian food is an endless array of possibilities for the native as well as for the tourist. Three regions and The Galapagos offering constant delights, to what we most add the street food to tempt us.
    Thank you for taking the opportunity to help us enjoy your article.

  3. Had my first cassava roll onboard the National Geographic ship Endeavor II on a cruise around the Galapagos Islands. My daughter and I are gluten sensitive and they made them for those on gluten free diets. They also made us a nut bread from cassava flour and unsweetened cocoa powder that was wonderful. You wouldn’t have a recipe for that would you?

  4. Nice! Very similar product in Uganda, called “Mandoes”…. because it’s apparently what the man does. Goes great with ‘poshu’ … a corn pasty thing which sounds better than it really is.

  5. Your blog has been a huge help for planning our activities in Cuenca. We tried these today and they are soooo delicious. We can’t wait to go back for more! Thank you!

  6. Yuca (or cassava) is widely eaten in the Caribbean and northern South America, either as a cooked tuber or as a baked ‘bread’, from the grated flour. I’ve had it from childhood and my favourite is as a dry, crunchy wafer, much like the more costly scandanavian flat, rye breads (RyVita, etc.). The pulp produced upon skining the tuber and grating it, has to be squeezed to expel all the liquid ( which, depending on the variety, may contain cyanide), then dried and formed into thin, flat discs and baked on a heated griddle . Otherwise, the dried flour may be stored almost indefinitely. Cassava is gluten free and an excellent source of fiber in the diet.

  7. I have remembered Deleyt’s yuca bread since I went to Ecuador over two years ago, now. When I searched “yuca bread, Cuenca,” in Google I really doubted that I would track down the store with such ease. I would KILL to get the recipe for Emma’s yuca bread, and no chance of me becoming the competition, as I live in Canada and am not a very good baker. If you’re in Ecuador often, is there any chance of this being managed? It’s easily the best in the city, in my experience.

      1. Found the best so far at the little yogurt shop catti-corner to Cafe Austria (@$0.25). Also frozen at Supermaxi are good too. No gluten or cheese reaction!

  8. By any chance do you have a recipe for yuca bread? I cook with tapioca flour all the time because I’m on a gluten-free diet, so I’d love to try making some yuca bread here at home.

  9. We love yuca bread, too, especially with yogurt, however, my husband tends to feels really tired after eating it, and we haven’t figured out why yet. The crunch and chew is very satisfying, especially when they are straight from the oven! 🙂

  10. We just woke up in our hotel in Guayaguil, on the first day of our three week adventure in Ecuador. Our 12 months of Rosetta Stone Spanish seems very lacking when faced with total immersion. Maybe we can find some yuca bread to point to for breakfast.
    No manner the language challenges, it sure beats -23 and snowing in Northern Alberta. Let the adventure begin…

  11. Sounds great, I will now try and find yuca bread in Canoa where I an now traveling and for sure when in Cuenca. Might you have a recommendation for a nice but reasonable place to stay for two couples in Cuenca for a week towards the end of January? Enjoy yor posts, they encouraged me to set up my blog.

    1. Hi Murray – nice blog, congratulations!
      I don’t have a recommendation. January is high season here – you should probably books something soon. We are out of touch with hotels and short term rentals – it isn’t something we’ve needed for a long time.

  12. I’m from Colombia, SA. A neighbor country with Ecuador. We have yuca bread in Colombia in every cafeteria or markets around the country. It is a very typical food in Colombia. It is delicious when is fresh baked. We eat this bread with coffee, sodas, hot chocolate, etc. We also have another cheese bread made from corn and cheese. We call it Pandebono. It is also very delicious. It is good to know that they have Pan de Yuca in Ecuador.

  13. Hi Flora. Maybe we will meet in passing since we leave on the 20 something of January. Ta Ta for now and see U later maybe. but I think I tried the Yuca Chips and they were good!!!

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