What Does Jicama Taste Like

Looking for something new, tasty, and healthy to eat? Jicama just might be the answer. The jicama, also known as yam bean, Mexican potato, or Mexican turnip, is foreign to some, but in Central America it is highly favored. If you're wondering what jicama tastes like, you're about to find out.

What is jicama?

Jicama, pronounced hih-ca-ma, is a taproot or tuberous vegetable. The jicama plant is grown in warm climates that are frost-free and temperate. Jicama is cultivated in rows and mainly grown from seeds. The jicama plant is planted and harvested within a year. Its main feature is the large taproot that grows beneath the soil. The plant itself is viney and leafy, but these parts are not eaten. The jicama plant contains rotenone, a poison used to kill bugs and fish, according to iFood.

Jicama's importance in Mexico

The jicama is ubiquitous in Mexican culture and cuisine. The tasty tuber is much like a humble potato, but in Mexico it has a noble role as one of the four elements in the Festival of the Dead, which is celebrated every November 1. Jicama dolls are created out of paper strips.

What does jicama taste like?

Imagine a cross between a potato, a water chestnut, and an apple. Jicama has a crisp texture with a slightly sweet taste. The vegetable has high water and fiber content. The vegetable is low in protein, fat, and sodium. The sweetness is due to prebiotics called oligofructose and inulin, which are safe for diabetics to consume.

Preparation of jicama

The jicama root can be eaten in many ways as it takes on the flavor of the ingredients paired along with it. In Mexico, the vegetable is peeled of its tough outer covering to reveal a creamy white flesh. The jicama is then cut into thin matchsticks and marinated in lime juice, salt, and chili powder. This is just one of the many ways to enjoy jicama.

Serving suggestions and recipes for jicama

Jicama is so versatile that there are unlimited possibilities for enjoying this vegetable. Next time you are at the grocery store, pick up a jicama and try one of these suggestions or search the web for a lot more great ideas.

  • Jicama salad. Prepare jicama in the Mexican tradition with lime juice, salt, and chili powder. Toss this combination into a salad featuring orange slices and cucumber for a refreshing and flavorful side dish.
  • Jicama salsa. Add the marinated matchsticks of jicama to chopped tomato, red onion, and cilantro. This salsa is perfect for topping grilled fish or chicken. Or use jicama slices to dip into prepared salsa and skip the fried chips but not the crispy crunch.
  • Jicama and apple crisp. If you love apple crisp, freshen up the usual recipe with slices or wedges of fresh crispy jicama. Toss the apples and jicama with lemon juice, sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon before topping with a mixture of brown sugar, flour, and butter. Bake as usual. Pair the crisp with ice cream or dollops of whipped cream for a delicious dessert.
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