Have you ever heard of Jicama? It is an unknown root vegetable of the Fabaceae family bearing the sweet scientific name of Pachyrhizus erosus, it is also sometimes called “Pea-Potato” or “Bean-Yam”. The name Jicama is derived from the Aztec which means “which has taste”, a beautiful promise! Native to Central America and mainly Mexico, this exuberant twining plant produces odd tubers in the shape of tops. Its flesh is juicy, crunchy and sweet, with a slight taste of chestnut.
How to consume this Mexican vegetable?
Delicious and easy to cook, this juicy turnip-like vegetable with a slight chestnut taste will revolutionize your kitchen. After peeling, it can be eaten cooked like a roasted potato, it will bring the same texture with a very interesting sweet note in addition, but we strongly recommend that you leave it raw to keep all its “crunchy” and refreshing side.
In the traditional way, Mexicans cut it into thin slices with a mandolin and garnish it with lemon juice, coriander, chili powder and a pinch of salt. Jicama can also be incorporated into spring rolls, or julienned, minced and sautéed salads, in soups or combined with other fruits and vegetables to enhance its sweetness.
Namely that the skin of the tubers must be removed (simply with a paring knife), because it is not digestible. With the exception of tubers, all other parts of Jicama (leaves, stems, pods, seeds, etc.) are toxic. In its country of origin in Mexico, an infusion of its seeds is used as an insecticide!
How to grow Jicama (Pachyrhizus erosus) in your garden?
The Jicama adapts easily to all types of soil, but prefers rich, cool, deep, and above all well-drained soils. The Jicama appreciates sunny exposures, but also supports semi-shaded exposures very well. Its culture somewhat resembles that of Cucurbitaceae. The seeds should be sown between March and April, in a box and in a warm place, before transplanting the young plants in the ground around mid-May, when all risk of frost has passed. Pachyrhizus erosus being a climbing plant that can reach up to 5-6 meters, it is advisable to provide a support to ensure its good development. The tubers are harvested from September to December.