A cooked chikwangue, purchased from a Congo street vendor. Chikwangue is a popular starchy food from a recipe for cooking a roll of cassava dough (oftentimes called ‘cassava bread’) inside a multi-layered wrapping of large fresh leaves (about 7 leaves), tied snugly with palm fibers or string to hold steam inside during cooking. Here,top, shown the bundled chikwangue as sold ready-to-eat, also the uncovered roll of cooked cassava ‘bread’ The cooked wrap has been opened to display the shape of the large leaves used for this. (For scale: largest leaf here measures approx. 34 cm in length not including stem). After cooking, the leaves are discarded, not eaten.
The distinct shape indicates these types of leaves come from either of these two plants (considered ‘forest leaves’) in Congo: Sarcophrynium arnoldianum/Megaphrynium macrostachyum. or Marantaceae – Haumania liebrechtsiana
Chikwangue leaf wraps can also be made with banana leaves when these two species of leaves are not available.