Yuca, also known as Cassava is a popular starchy root vegetable. It is the fourth most popular food in the World after rice, wheat and corn. There are many different preparations. Mostly they are peeled, cut into chunks and boiled. They can be eaten alone or added to soups and stews, such as “Sancocho” which is a popular stew all over Latin America.
Eddoes are the offspring of the mature version of them. They have a nutty flavor and are popular in Asia. They range in size from 5cm to 10cm. Just like most root vegetables they are meant to be eaten cooked. In Asia they are mashed and sweetened into sort of a marzipan paste and used in making pastries and cakes.
Malanga blanca is a root/tuber that is popular in the Caribbean, the West Indies and parts of South America. Preparation is similar to other roots, however Cubans make fritters that are served both savory and sweet.
This type of taro root is characterized by its light purplish color. The flavor profile is similar to the white variety. Yautia Lila is popular in Jamaica and the West Indies. People like it in stews with other roots because the light purple color differentiates itself from the predominantly white ones.
Malanga coco (large taro) is a root vegetable that resembles a yam and tastes similar to a potato with a sweet, nutty flavor. It can be prepared like a traditional potato, and it is usually added to curries and stews. Often fried to make chips. The Hawaiians use this to make poi.
Black Chayote squash is not really black. It is more of a dark green. Like all chayotes its crunchy and has a very mild, slightly sweet flavor with subtle notes of cucumber. Its nutritional value consist mainly of vitamin C, B6 and K. It is also good source of manganese, folate, niacin, zinc, copper, fiber and potassium. It is usually used for grilling, stir-fry or baking.
White Chayote or air potato is very similar to a potato or a pumpkin and its color goes from light yellow to almost white that darkens over time. Its main culinary uses are in soups, salads or baked dishes. It is popular in Puerto Rico, where they stuff them as you would a pepper.
Green chayote is by far the most popular of the chayotes. Preparation is the same as the others. In the Dominican Republic it is part of a refreshing salad with onions and lime juice. In Costa Rica it is diced finely and sauteed with onions, peppers, garlic and tomatoes and served over rice. In New Orleans it is called Mirliton and is a favorite in stuffings at Thanksgiving.
Yellow Plantains are really just ripe plantains. They are at their best when its peel is mostly black with a little yellow. When the peel is completely black in color they are still good to eat, however, at this point the texture becomes very soft and this can make them a bit difficult to prepare.
Green Plantains have not begun to ripen, they are picked at a younger and immature stage. Green plantains are a staple in most the Caribbean and many Latin American and African countries. The plantain can be boiled and mashed, fried or baked. Dominican baseball players joke that their power comes from eating plantains.
It is an herb that has a similar aroma and flavor to cilantro, but they are not the same plant . It has long serrated leaves and looks a bit like long-leafed lettuce. The leaves can be used as an herb and the seeds as a spice. Its consumption helps the body get rid of the excess of sodium and also helps regulate blood pressure.
A variety of the yam species (genus Dioscorea). It is a tuber native to the Caribbean, Central and South America. It has a very high content of starch, and it is usually baked or boiled. It is most commonly prepared mashed or in soups and it is considered a staple food for lots of indigenous tribes in South America.
The most popular variety of the green skinned avocado from the Dominican Republic is the Semil 34. It grows in sizes ranging from 10cm to 15cm. This avocado has much less oil content than the Hass variety. This avocado is mostly served sliced in salads.
Breadfruits are a species of flowering trees of the Moraceae family (Mulberry and Jackfruit) originally from New Guinea and the Philippines. Ripe fruits may be eaten raw but usually both green and ripe fruits are roasted, baked, fried or boiled before consumption. They are considered a good source of multiple vitamin and minerals as well as dietary fibers.
Is also known as Amaranth. it is a green leafy vegetable that is very similar to spinach. In Latin America it is mainly used to make soups.
Green Coconuts carry water inside. They have not yet accumulated fat and their sugar content is low. The water from these coconuts have lots of isotonic properties, because of this, it is considered a natural serum that helps with re-hydration and it is highly refreshing to drink.
Dry Coconuts are green coconuts that have been husked and dried. They have little water and more meat. This white meat is grated and used in both savory and sweet dishes. They are indigenous to all Southern Hemisphere countries.
Ginger is an underground stem that has been harvested and used in Asia for 2500 years. It has many medicinal qualities, mostly it’s been used to help with nausea and sea sickness. Ginger is a key ingredient in Asian and Indian foods.
Known in Spanish as Curcuma, is a rhizome of orange color used most commonly as a spice. It is one of the main ingredients in curries and its flavor can be described as bittersweet with a hint of spice. It is commonly used as a seasoning. It can be pulverized or added in pieces to flavor soups or bisque.
It is shaped like a long sweet potato. The flesh of Yam is creamy or yellow in color, while its skin can be light or dark brown or sometimes tan. Its flavor is somewhat nutty and it has a chewy texture that is similar to the texture of a potato.
It has brown or black skin and is yellow in the inside. When cooked it has a firm texture and a nutty and slightly bitter flavor. It originated in Africa and was brought to the Caribbean. It is a staple in the Jamaican diet as well as many islands in the West Indies.
Negro yams are a good source of fiber and regulate the digestive tract, potassium to balance fluid levels within the body, and vitamin C to strengthen the immune system while reducing inflammation. They are prepared like most roots and tubers. Jamaicans serve negro yams traditionally with salt cod.
Orchid blooms are edible and safe for consumption. The flower petals have a fresh and crispy taste similar to leafy vegetables. You can use them in salads. Also used for stir-fry dishes or to candy them for cake decorations.
Dasheen Yam is a traditional food in many tropical areas of the World. It has a harder interior which makes it a thickening agent for soups and stews. The offspring of the Dasheen is the Eddoe.
Calabaza Squash is known by many different names. Whether it’s Muscat de Provence or Fairytale pumpkin, they all have a similar taste and appearance. They grow in different sizes and are normally colored green or orange. Their appearance can be solid, striped or speckled.
They’re flavor is nutty, sweet and are usually used for creams, soups and baked recipes.
The Murasaki yam or sweet potato is similar to the “Batata” or “Camote” from Latin America. It’s a fundamental part of the diet of all Latinx and is a good substitute for potatoes and yucca. It can be cooked like a potato to be used in creams, soups or fried. Not as sweet as its cousin the American sweet potato, it has grown in popularity over the last 20 years.
In Latin America they are known as “Uchuvas”. Here they’re known as “Cape Gooseberries”. Not only are they delicious they’re nutritious as well. Packed with Vitamin C, A and potassium. Why some say they’re an aphrodisiac. Contact us to learn how to get some in your produce department.