Tucupi preto was called “the king of sauces” by Italian explorer Ermanno Stradelli.
It’s made from manioc, a tuber better known in the U.S. as cassava, which is integral to Indigenous communities in the Amazon. To make tucupi preto, manioc is harvested, peeled, grated and squeezed to extract the juice. The juice is separated from the starch and then boiled down for 4 to 5 hours until it becomes a thick black syrup. Though raw manioc juice contains deadly amounts of cyanide, it is completely safe after being boiled.