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Everyday Food, July/August 2006

Jicama (HEE-kah-mah) is a root vegetable native to Central and South America. Beneath its papery skin is a crisp, sweet white flesh that is 85 to 90 percent water. Also known as a "Mexican potato," its flavor is often described as a cross between a potato and an apple.

They can weigh anywhere from one to six pounds. Look for jicamas that are firm with smooth skin that is free of bruises. Avoid any that are soft, wrinkled, or moldy.

Jicama is very versatile. It is often used raw in salads or as a snack; it can also be steamed, baked, boiled, mashed, or fried. Store, uncovered, in a cool, dry place for up to two weeks. Wait to peel until just before using.


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