The Manioc Plant Shoots Out Stalks From Four To Six Feet In Height,
With A Number Of Large Leaves At Their Upper Extremities.
valuable portion of the plant is its bulbous root, which often
weighs two or three pounds, and supplies the place of corn all
through the Brazils.
It is washed, peeled, and held against the
rough edge of a millstone, turned by a negro, until it is completely
ground away. The whole mass is then gathered into a basket,
plentifully steeped in water, and is afterwards pressed quite dry by
means of a press. Lastly it is scattered upon large iron plates,
and slowly dried by a gentle fire kept up beneath. It now resembles
a very coarse kind of flour; and is eaten in two ways - wet and dry.
In the first case, it is mixed with hot water until it forms a kind
of porridge; in the second, it is handed round, under the form of
coarse flour, in little baskets, and every one at table takes as
much as he chooses, and sprinkles it over his plate.
4th October. The mountain ranges continue drawing nearer and nearer
to each other, and the woods become thicker and more luxuriant. The
various creeping plants are indescribably beautiful: not only do
they entirely cover the ground, but they are so intertwined with the
trees that their lovely flowers hang on the highest branches, and
look like the blossoms of the trees themselves. But there are
likewise trees whose own yellow and red blossoms resemble the most
beautiful flowers; while there are others whose great white leaves
stand out like silver from the surrounding mass of flowery green.
Woods like these might well be called "the giant gardens of the
world." The palm-trees have here almost disappeared.
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