Cauim

Cauim is a traditional alcoholic beverage or beer of the indigenous peoples in Brazil since pre-Columbian times. It is still made today in remote areas throughout Panama and South America. Cauim is made by fermenting manioc (a large starchy root), or maize, sometimes flavored with fruit juices. The Kuna Indians of Panama use plantains.

In Spanish it is called "Chicha de Yuca" or in some places (like Peru) "Masato". The best term in English may be "Manioc Beer". In Kichwa, "Lumu Asua". In Shuar, "Nijiamanch". In Paicoca, "Co'no"

A characteristic feature of the beverage is that the starting material is cooked, chewed, and fermented, so that enzymes present in human saliva can break down the starch into fermentable sugars. (This principle was originally used also for Japanese sake.)

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Other articles related to "cauim":

History Of Alcoholic Beverages - Ancient Period - Pre-Columbian America
... Cauim is a traditional alcoholic beverage of the Native American populations of Brazil since pre-Columbian times ... Cauim is very similar to chicha and it is also made by fermenting manioc or maize, sometimes flavored with fruit juices ... chicha, enzymes from the saliva of the cauim maker breakdown the starches into fermentable sugars ...
Cauim - Analysis
... Analysis of cauim made from manioc showed that fermentation was due to a large variety of bacteria ... A second analysis of cauim made from rice and manioc also showed the presence of yeasts, chiefly Candida tropicalis ...