Jicama 790 xxx
photos by george billard

6.10.10 Crunch Time

I learned all kinds of crazy things about my beloved jícama as I was doing a little research for you. The word jícama derives from the Nahuatl “xicamatl" for a native Mexican vine, although what we eat is the plant's tuberous root. It’s from the genus Pachyrhizus, commonly referred to as "yam beans," which is yet another name for jícama. The roots can grow to be quite large, although when bigger than a canteloupe, they begin to convert their sugars into starches, becoming dry and woody. In choosing a jícama, look for medium-sized, firm tubers with no wet or soft spots. It will keep under refrigeration for up to two weeks, but I learned that optimal storage temperature is between 50 and 60 degrees, under which conditions it will keep for a month or two.
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