Yuca is a root ranging from 6 to 12 inches in length and 2 to 3 inches in diameter. Typically the roots are coated with a heavy wax in order to insure freshness. With white or yellow flesh and a tough brown skin, Yuca is an important staple in Africa, although originally native to South America. There are many varieties of Yuca Root, but only two main categories: bitter and sweet. Used as a thickener in the making of tapioca, Yuca Root once grated and sun-dried is also called Yuca Root meal. Available year-round, the edible starchy tuberous root is a major source of carbohydrates; indeed one of the largest sources for human consumption of carbohydrates in the world. The Yuca roots are very rich in starch and vitamin C. Used in a great variety of dishes, the soft-boiled root has a delicate flavor and can replace boiled potatoes in many recipes. The juice of the Yuca root can be boiled to the consistency of thick syrup, flavored with spices, and used as the basis for a variety of sauces and culinary flavoring, principally in tropical countries.