Bammy bread is a Jamaican flatbread that uses the cassava root, what we might know more familiarly as tapioca, as the essential starch ingredient. Bammy bread has been compared to pancakes, and it can either be fried much like a flatbread, or baked, and turned over to brown both sides. Unlike the American pancake, bammy bread is often an accompaniment to savory foods, and most popular served with fish dishes.
Bammy bread is made with grated cassava, which is pressed in cloth or paper to remove most of its moisture. You’ll find it in great supply in Jamaica, and its popularity has additionally migrated to the US, especially in the southern states. Finding cassava root is often the trickiest part of making the bread. Check specialty grocers if you want to make your own bread.
The cassava root for bammy bread has to be prepared specially, since in raw form it can contain some cyanide. The root is normally grated, and rinsed at least once. It is then usually dried before being salted and formed into small cakes about 4 inches (10.16 cm) in diameter.
You can find dessert forms of bammy bread that are definitely delicacies. Sometimes after the cake has been cooked, it is cooled, and then dipped into coconut milk. The bammy bread or cake is then fried again, and may be served with sweet syrup or as a breakfast food. Still, it is more common to find bammy bread served with savory foods, most especially fried fish.
Bammy bread frequently has to be special ordered from Jamaica, or online Jamaican food store sites. You’ll note that it looks quite similar to small flour tortillas, and is fairly inexpensive to buy. You may find it in the occasional Jamaican or Cajun restaurant, and will more typically find it offered in the Southern US. It is very difficult to find the bread in the Northern States, unless you’re lucky enough to have a Jamaican restaurant close by.
Of course, one way to try bammy bread in its most authentic incarnations is to travel to Jamaica. This would probably guarantee you the freshest bammy bread possible, as well as providing a fantastic vacation destination. On the other hand, not all people have the luxury of making such a trip, no matter how much they’d like to. In this case, try Internet stores, international grocery stores or try your hand at a number of bammy bread recipes available on the Internet or in Jamaican cookbooks.