Manioc, also often called cassava, is a starchy root vegetable originally found throughout South America. The crop is a crucial source of carbohydrates in the developing world; it is estimated it provides the majority of carbs for around 502 million people worldwide. It is particularly valuable for its drought tolerance, an uncommon trait for a crop that hails from tropical and subtropical zones.
Despite its widespread use, manioc is a rare find in North American supermarkets. One reason for this is that it can be difficult to prepare, and even toxic if not prepared correctly. But once made edible, manioc can be used much in the same way as potatoes.