Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 187

Jicama: Today brings an end to this week's successful run of offerings from the YDFM salad bar. I managed to score 4 brand new things from one visit, and I even spotted a few more for next time if they're still offering them. Anyway, when I spotted jicama on the cold section of the salad bar, my curiosity was raised. I'd seen it on several menus around town as an ingredient in several dishes (especially salads) but never tried it, so I grabbed a couple of pieces and put them in my to-go box. I wasn't sure what jicama was (some kind of plant? a root?), but I was eager to try.
I didn't want these pieces of jicama to go bad, so I finally gave them a try this afternoon as a snack. I wasn't sure what the original product looked like, but what I had was cut into long, thin slices. It almost looked like thily sliced apple in texture and color. I bit off a small piece and was surprised - it had an extremely crunchy texture, almost exactly like an apple. The flavor was mildly sweet, not fruity at all, and it reminded me a bit of fresh water chestnuts found in Chinese cuisine. Very light and refreshing, and after trying, I could see why jicama would be a great ingredient in any salad. Its neutral flavor would probably hold up well with many other ingredients without overpowering them, so I might be adding this to some meals at home if possible.

Ok, so what is jicama? It's actually a root vegetable that resembles a turnip or beet in appearance, and it's popular in Mexican cuisine. It's also apparently rich in vitamin C and fat free, so I managed to eat something healthy without even knowing it. Score!

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