Jicama: A Root Veggie with Exotic Powersbianca
A potato lookalike with juicy flesh and a slightly sweet, exotic flavor, the jicama is a bit of mystery wrapped in a papery, brown skin. This vegetable is native to Mexico, where it has been cultivated for many centuries. Fun fact: jicamas can grow to weigh up to 50 pounds, but they’re usually harvested before they reach 5 pounds!
What is jicama?
We’ve already mentioned a few of the features that define this vegetable, but let’s uncover some more. Jicamas are globe-shaped root vegetables that belong, surprisingly enough, to the bean family. The only edible part of the jicama plant is the root.
Jicamas are usually round, with flattened ends, and larger than a potato. Despite their differences, they also share several similarities with the potato, like their brown skin, pale flesh, and cooking applications.
These root vegetables go by several names, including “Mexican turnip”, “Mexican potato”, “Chinese Potato” or “yam bean”. They are mostly cultivated in Mexico, Central and South America, with a few farms scattered in the U.S., in Texas and Florida.
Where to buy jicama wholesale?
Jicama is generally a winter crop but it’s available for purchase all year round through produce distributors. If you find yourself in need of wholesale jicama for your restaurant, it’s easy enough to reach out to an experienced wholesaler like Riviera that will provide you with all the fresh produce you require.
How does jicama taste?
Jicama’s flavor is an interesting one. It has an exotic taste that is a cross between a potato and an apple. It’s mildly sweet, slightly nutty, and it packs a lot of crunch. When it is cooked, the jicama tends to act like a sponge, absorbing the flavors of the other ingredients in the dish.
What time of year is jicama in season?
The best time of year to find fresh jicama is the fall. This root veggie takes a long time to grow – around nine months – so it’s usually planted early in the year and becomes available starting in October all the way to the spring months.
How to cook with jicama
Jicamas are versatile vegetables, and they serve as wonderful potato substitutes in a large number of dishes. Before cooking with jicama, remember to peel off its skin, as it is not meant to be consumed. As jicamas cook, they quickly lose their crunch, so anything longer than a stir-fry makes them visibly softer.
Since they have a pleasant taste and crunchy texture, they’re very commonly consumed raw. So, before adding any heat, consider some dishes in which you let them shine in their raw form: fresh salads, veggie platters and so on. Keep in mind they pair excellently with anything citrus, as well as avocado and strong-flavored herbs.
A great way of serving raw jicama is by slicing it thinly, adding lime juice and chili powder to create a popular Mexican snack, which can double as a side dish for other Mexican dishes. Since they’re excellent potato substitutes, you can also bake or fry your jicamas. The taste of fried jicamas is strikingly similar to regular potato fries.
Jicamas are surprisingly delicious both raw and cooked, compared to many other root vegetables. Their mild sweet flavor, refreshing crunch and incredible versatility makes them perfect ingredients for a variety of dishes, from snacks to salads, stir-fries, slaws and more!