Haiti’s kasav masters at work | PHOTOS

Overview:

A step-by-step look at kasav making at a factory near Cap-Haitien.

HAUT-DU-CAP — During a recent visit to the Boske Lavi cassava factory in April, about 10 workers began the day by cracking jokes and sharing captivating relationship updates over plates of aleken, a rice-and-peas dish sold by street vendors. 

Two workers then cut the top of multiple coconuts with knives and drank the juice. Sometimes they poured it into a basin. They then struck the coconuts repeatedly with the knives to break them into pieces. After breaking them, they scraped the white part of the coconut into a pulp.

Customers began arriving at around 11 a.m. Some left with a batch of cassava in a paper bag, others while munching on it already.

“We prepare it well so that when it’s being eaten, people can say this is kasav,” Louis said. 

Here’s a look, in photos, of the process the workers followed that day.


Onz Chery, cassave, Kasav, Haiti, Haut du Cap, Cap-Haitien, okap,
A worker cutting a coconut open at Boske Lavi cassava factory. Photo by Onz Chéry for The Haitian Times Credit: Onz Chery
Onz Chery, cassave, Kasav, Haiti, Haut du Cap, Cap-Haitien, okap,
An employee at Boske Lavi is scraping coconuts. Meanwhile, another worker smashes salt into powder in a pilon. After turning salt into powder, the same man uses a strainer to make manioc flour. Photo by Onz Chéry for The Haitian Times Credit: Onz Chery
Onz Chery, cassave, Kasav, Haiti, Haut du Cap, Cap-Haitien, okap,
A man straining manioc flour at Boske Lavi. Photo by Onz Chéry for The Haitian Times Credit: Onz Chery
Onz Chery, cassave, Kasav, Haiti, Haut du Cap, Cap-Haitien, okap,
A worker smashes salt into powder in a pilon. Near him, another worker lit up charcoal next to three platin, or hot iron plates, then pushed some of the charcoal underneath them. The man started making the cassava by putting the flour on the platin, making a circle. Photo by Onz Chéry for The Haitian Times Credit: Onz Chery
Onz Chery, cassave, Kasav, Haiti, Haut du Cap, Cap-Haitien, okap,
A cassava maker pouring flour on the platin. He spread it with a broom before adding coconut and condensed milk. When some parts of the cassavas turned light brown, the worker flipped them. When the other side also turned light brown, the workers cut the cassava into pieces with a wooden knife. Photo by Onz Chéry for The Haitian Times Credit: Onz Chery
Onz Chery, cassave, Kasav, Haiti, Haut du Cap, Cap-Haitien, okap,
A cassava pie is almost ready for sale at Boske Lavi. Photo by Onz Chéry for The Haitian Times Credit: Onz Chery
Onz Chery, cassave, Kasav, Haiti, Haut du Cap, Cap-Haitien, okap,
Workers at Boske Lavi cassava factory sitting behind three cassavas baking on ‘platin’ iron plates in Cap-Haïtien. Photo by Onz Chéry for The Haitian Times. Credit: Onz Chery
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