What duh Heck is DAT? Mystery Foods Identified: Jicama

My 3 year old started saying “What duh heck?” at age 2. I know. Not funny and some would say that’s offensive. But, I have to admit, I giggled the first several times he said it. Coming out of a little boy’s mouth with a 2 year old lisp, it sounds pretty funny. Anyway, he doesn’t say it as often any more, but I’m hearing it more from my older kids these days. It mostly comes out of their mouths when staring at their dinner plates.

I have thought that a few times myself actually. You look at a recipe, see a word like “jicama” and try to pronounce it several times in your head before attempting it out loud. You hope you don’t have to ask the produce person what it is because you don’t even know how to say it. I thought I’d take a little time to identify a few of those “mystery food items” and how we have used them so that you don’t have to say “what duh heck is dat?”

I’ll start with jicama since I mentioned it. Jicama is prounounced “HEE-kah-ma.” It’s an edible root that resembles a turnip. It’s native to Mexico where it’s also called a yambean. Jicama is high fiber, in vitamins C, A, and some B’s, along with calcium and phosphorus. It’s 85-90% water! It has a thin brown skin and a white juicy inside. The taste and texture reminds me of a cross between a pear and a raw potato or water chesnut. Jicama is great eaten raw or in a stir-fry. We have used it in slaw salads, salsas, on green salads or as a side dish. One of my favorite, quick and easy ways to eat it is with chili powder, sea salt and lime juice. Peel the jicama with a sharp vegetable peeler. Cut it into strips like skinny French fries. Toss the jicama with the chili powder, a dash of sea salt and some fresh squeezed lime juice. It’s a great, refreshing side dish in the summer!

Now that you know what it is, you can play a little game at your dinner table called “what duh heck is DAT?”!

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