Yacón, Partially Peeled

June 28, 2014

Partially Peeled Yacón

Yacón is another vegetable masquerading as a fruit. In Ecuador its causally called jicama creating some confusion with that unrelated subterranean vegetable; though both possess a surprising crisp texture. Perhaps more apt is the name “Peruvian ground apple” since yacón has a sweet taste and juicy body.

As a plant yacón (Smallanthus sonchifolius) grows as a perennial and produces a rhizome that propagates vegetatively. The harvestable portion of the plant is a tuberous root that grows alongside the rhizome.

Yacón bears some similarities in name and form to the potato (French: pomme de terre, ground apple), but is more closely related to sunflowers and Jerusalem artichokes.

This particular yacón was offered as a sample just before 15 crates of them were delivered to an industrial dehydrator in Sáchica near Villa de Leyva in Colombia. The others will be dried into chips before being sold.

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