Monday, March 21, 2011


Jicama, the root of a vine by the same name,  
looks somewhat like a turnip and is a common ingredient in Mexican salads, including fruit salads. I've not been particularly fond of it. 
The texture has reminded me of water chestnuts, which remind me of scraping fingernails across a chalkboard, with very little taste. I saw a jicama in the store recently and given the fact it is one of the 1001 Foods You Must Taste Before You Die I decided to purchase one and get more familiar with it. 
It is native to Mexico and Central America, but it is becoming more common in Asian food. In Mexican food it is usually eaten raw, with a little lime juice, salt or  cayenne pepper. 
I was quite surprised by what I found. The texture is very similar to an Asian pear, very crisp, but a little less juicy. 

It was quite sweet and had a wonderful taste of sweet peas. It was fun to learn that it is a member of the legume family. 1001 states that it has the light sweetness of apple or pear, but the one we ate was definitely sweet pea and similar only to Asian pear in texture. Judy commented that it was the best jicama she's ever tasted and I agree. It gives me some incentive to try it again. I am now curious to know if we just got a particularly good one, if it does not age well (the reason for not being as good in restaurants), or perhaps a combination of both. 

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