Author Topic: Jicama  (Read 356 times)

saddad

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Jicama
« on: October 03, 2019, 06:08:32 »
My eldest son reads and uses far too many cookbooks.....
He saw Caribbean recipes using Jicama but couldn't buy it.. unless he exported it at prohibitive cost, so thought "Dad likes to grow weird stuff" so he sent me some seeds and I now have 5 respectable, swede sized, swollen stems in the greenhouse... the seed packet is quite clear that all the plant, except this bit, which is helpfully as white as a parsnip... is poisonous. Does anybody know if it needs any prep between lifting and delivering for consumption, ie exposure to sunlight, protection from sunlight, packing in damp sand to prevent drying out, or allowing to dry out? Does it have another name, other than Mexican Turnip... to help me search?
It grew like a well behaved Morning Glory, not rampant like a sweet potato... I was supposed to have to remove the flowers (beautiful allegedly but never got any). Was hoping to have a photo of a flower as other son's partners sister is a botanical artist..
Emma Bennett (look her up if you are interested) she's very good...
 :wave:

Allotments 4 All

Jicama
« on: October 03, 2019, 06:08:32 »

pumpkinlover

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Re: Jicama
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2019, 07:31:08 »
I just looked and she certainly is good. Her style is distinctive and her paintings are hauntingly beautiful.



saddad

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Re: Jicama
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2019, 08:06:07 »
We are back in the Yellow Book next year and I'm hoping she can come down to show off her work... she does go to shows like Chatsworth and Tatton.

It's the frost risk that made me worry about the Jicama.. grew yacon one year got a huge crop and someone left the greenhouse open and they all went mushy..

Obelixx

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Re: Jicama
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2019, 09:02:46 »
I think frost is the least of you rpotential troubles as it won't like anything below the teens anyway according to this

http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Pachyrhizus+tuberosus
Obxx - Vendée France

saddad

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Re: Jicama
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2019, 16:47:49 »
I'm hopefully on hols next week... had a light frost last night, I'll check it tomorrow and either deep mulch it or store in compost in the house.

Vinlander

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Re: Jicama
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2019, 11:51:37 »
I tried jicama several years ago - I got a plant or two a couple of years running but none of them produced any tubers so I gave up.

The question is what do they taste like - in particular how do they compare to yacon?

The textbook/web descriptions of yacon and jicama sound very similar (one of the reasons I gave up on jicama - since yacon is so easy to grow by the tens of kilos). One source even says "In Ecuador and Peru the name “jicama” is used for the unrelated Yacón"

Incidentally, it's unusual for yacon tubers to be affected by a first frost, doubly unusual for it to be bothered by one in a sheltered greenhouse which should be immune to ground frosts even with the door open (unless it's in a low point in the terrain where cold air can gather).

Even more remarkable if the "eating" tubers were affected - they are 30-60cm deeper in the soil whereas the "next years offsets tubers" are only just below the surface. In fact the only reason to dig the deep ones up before you need them is that every soil pest makes a beeline for them in winter and by December they are all as tunnelled as gouda.

Anyway, I think your son should try the recipe with yacon before using up more valuable space in your greenhouse...

Cheers.

With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

saddad

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Re: Jicama
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2019, 15:20:20 »
Probably... the Yacon gave a good crop.. but having lost all the storage tubers so easily I stopped growing them. I now have some Jicama tubers.. so we shall see...

gwynleg

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Re: Jicama
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2019, 07:33:46 »
Would love some tried and tested yacon recipes if anyone has them? I’m anticipating a big crop this year (plants are humungeous) so would like to use them well. Or even if I only get a small crop....

Vinlander

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Re: Jicama
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2019, 12:33:56 »
The storage tubers look like sweet potatoes but have no growing point - (the neck tubers are nothing but growing points) and will last so long in the fridge  - or even in a bag of spent compost under the stairs - that you can use quite a lot by making regular stir-fries with yacon in the water-chestnut job - right through to April if you are careful to check them for rots - I tend to do this monthly but would benefit from fortnightly.

When they are at their sweetest I tend to eat some raw (peeled) as a kind of smoky asian pear - people say they get sweeter in storage but mine are sweetest when dug as soon as the tops show cold damage - maybe other people dig them earlier. Unfortunately at this time I have fresh apples & pears so they tend to get overlooked.

You really could cook them as pears but you'd need a recipe where a crisp texture is a bonus.

You could check out the jicama recipes, but the only way you can use more than 2 plants per person per year would be to make the yacon syrup - which sounds terrific (I love smoky) but I've never grown enough to make it worthwhile - I'm probably too lazy anyway...

Cheers.


With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

gwynleg

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Re: Jicama
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2019, 10:24:40 »
Thanks Vinlander. I think I will give the syrup a go if I get enough tubers. Wondering how to extract the juice though. I have a juicer but haven’t used it in many a year! Any suggestions please - do you cut the tubers up and then centrifuge in the juicer, do I need to pulp it first?

Thanks

Vinlander

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Re: Jicama
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2019, 09:43:02 »
Thanks Vinlander. I think I will give the syrup a go if I get enough tubers. Wondering how to extract the juice though. I have a juicer but haven’t used it in many a year! Any suggestions please - do you cut the tubers up and then centrifuge in the juicer, do I need to pulp it first?

Thanks
Lots of web hits for "yacon syrup" - mainly at insane prices because of unproven causal links to health & dieting claims (based on its utterly non-unique collection of compounds but enhanced by its exotic name).

Since you are going to have to reduce the juice to a syrup anyway it makes sense to start by cooking it (using as little water as possible - steamer or pressure cooker?) which will make mashing and straining easier & quicker (maybe centrifuging the residue) - and should greatly increase the yield.

The wiki page mentions using an evaporator, but the only ones that don't cook the juice operate at a high vacuum - so they are too complex and expensive to find in any kitchen.

People who boil the juice down to a syrup seem quite happy about the taste.

Cheers.
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.