jicama

Pronunciation: [HEE-kah-mah]

Hailing from Mexico and South America, jicama is a large, bulbous root vegetable with a thin brown skin and white crunchy flesh. Its sweet, nutty flavor is good both raw and cooked. Jicama ranges in size from about 4 ounces up to 6 pounds. It's available year-round and can be purchased in Latin American markets and most supermarkets. It should be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag and will last for about 2 weeks. The thin skin should be peeled just before using. Jicama can be steamed, baked, boiled or fried. When cooked briefly, it retains its crisp, water chestnut–type texture. Jicama is a fair source of vitamin C and potassium. It's also called Mexican potato and yam bean root.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

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Jicama (pronounced HICK-a-MA) is a tuber — a big brown round root. A relative of the bean family, it is native to Mexico and South America.