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What are Bammy Cakes and Why Make Them?

Hidden, Katie. "Jamaican Bammy From Scratch." Taste the Islands. Blondie Ras Productions, Inc © 2015. 

Originating from Jamaica, bammy cakes are a type of flat bread made from yuca (or cassava, or Manihot), a starchy tubular root indigenous to the Caribbean and now found in tropical and subtropical climates around the world. Modern bammy cake recipes are usually fried in hot oil, as shown in the above image. Traditionally, native preparation for bammy cakes, from root to final product, is often laborious and quite time consuming. However, in the modern age of technology, along with a flourishing global food trade, any traditional dish, regardless of the country’s origin, can be easily replicated.

With endless culinary recipes available online and access to international food markets, why would anyone attempt to follow native preparation techniques when modern recipes and equipment require a fraction of the work? In the modern culinary world, there are endless short cuts which can make many recipes quick and easy for most home cooks. Although pre-packaged and processed foods ara convenient way to quickly prepare food, we often forget about the complex process, preparation, and origins behind the food we eat.

Although the act of consuming a traditional dish, whether through recipes or purchasing at a local market, can be great way to connect with other cultures, the historical trajectory of traditional dishes often follows an unfortunate path of colonization and cultural commodification executed by the Global North.

What are Bammy Cakes and Why Make Them?