Cassareep is used for two distinct goals, that originate from two important aspects of the ingredient: its particular flavor, and its preservative quality.
Cassareep is essential in the preparation of pepperpot, and gives the dish its "distinctive bittersweet flavor." Cassareep can also be used as an added flavoring to dishes, "imparting upon them the richness and flavour of strong beef-soup."
A peculiar quality of cassareep, which works as an antiseptic, is that it allows food to be kept "on the back of the stove" for indefinite lengths of time, as long as additional cassareep is added every time meat is added. According to legend, Betty Mascoll of Grenada had a pepperpot that was maintained like this for more than a century. Dutch planters in Suriname reportedly had pepperpots in daily use that they kept cooking for many years, as did "businessmen's clubs" in the Caribbean.