Answered By: Andrew Tadman
Last Updated: Aug 11, 2014     Views: 2028

Do you mean jicama? If so, here is a definition from Cambridge World History of Food, that classes it as a vegetable. (part of our Literati database: http://lalibcon.state.lib.la.us/redirect.php?illcode=c1eb&database=literati

A plant that provides both a root vegetable and beans, the jícama (Pachyrhizus erosus = Dolichos erosus) is also called “Mexican potato,” “yam bean,” and “potato bean.” The jícama is an American native that - along with a closely related species, P. tuberosus (also called “yam bean” and ajipo) - was cultivated long ago by the Aztecs and the Maya. The young pods are eaten as a cooked vegetable. The root is cylindrical and has a rough, sandy-colored skin, the removal of which reveals a white interior. In the past, the roots were normally eaten raw and enjoyed for their cool crispness rather than their bland flavor. Today, jícama remains a popular snack food eaten with lime juice in Mexico as well as California, where it is also grown. It can be baked like a potato but is mostly pickled and included in salads and casseroles. Until recently, jícama was practically unknown in North America, but now it can be found in most produce departments. Asian-American cooks occasionally employ it as a substitute for water chestnuts.

Common names and synonyms: Erosus yam bean, jícama de agua, jícama de leche, Mexican potato, potato bean, yam bean.

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