Wednesday, October 20, 2010
At work, there is always the same kinds of fruits: bananas, oranges, apples. Occasionally, there will be more exotic selection (usually during the summer): watermelon, peaches, grapes. Sometimes they will be mixed. Yesterday, I walked by the fruit section of the cafeteria and spotted a bright yellow in the clear, to-go box.
Under the mangos lie a layer of cucumbers and pears. All of which are my favorites. Except when I brought the fruit box back to my table and took a bite out of my pear, it turned out to be tasteless.
Jicama, my coworker informed me.
I spit it out. It was tasteless, not like the sweet, juicy pear I was expecting. Apparently you are supposed to eat it with lemon juice, except I was too lazy to head back into the cafeteria to find a wedge of lemon.
I tried the jicama + lemon juice combination today, and it is a lot better. That led me to wonder: what in the world is jicama?
Jicama is known as “Mexican turnip.” It is a root, is usually eaten raw, sometimes with salt, lemon, or lime juice and chili powder, and is most often found in salads. It can also be cooked with chili powder, cilantro, ginger, lemon, lime, oranges, red onion, sesame oil, and salsa. Apparently, only the root can be eaten; the rest of the jicama is poisonous. Nutritionally, jicamas are high in carbohydrates, fiber, water content, and vitamin C, and are low in calories.
Here is a super easy and fast jicama recipe (from allrecipes):
1 large jicama
2 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
Peel jicama and cut into French fry-sized sticks. Combine with lime juice and cayenne pepper in a medium bowl and toss to coat. Serve as finger food.