|Roots of yacón|
The yacón (Smallanthus sonchifolius) is a species of perennial daisy traditionally grown in the northern and central Andes from Colombia to northern Argentina for its crisp, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots. Their texture and flavour are very similar to jícama, mainly differing in that yacón has some slightly sweet, resinous, and floral (similar to violet) undertones to its flavour, probably due to the presence of inulin, which produces the sweet taste of the roots of elecampane, as well. Another name for yacón is Peruvian ground apple, possibly from the French name of potato, pomme de terre (ground apple). The tuber is composed mostly of water and fructooligosaccharide.
Traditionally, yacón roots are grown by farmers at mid-elevations on the eastern slopes of the Andes descending toward the Amazon. It is grown occasionally along field borders where the juicy tubers provide a welcome source of refreshment during field work. Until as recently as the early 2000s, yacón was hardly known outside of its limited native range, and was not available from urban markets. However, press reports of its use in Japan for its purported antihyperglycemic properties made the crop more widely known in Lima and other Peruvian cities.
From Spanish yacón.
- The Peruvian ground apple, Smallanthus sonchifolius
- The crisp, sweet-tasting tuberous root of this plant
- (both senses): yacón, Peruvian ground apple
- (plant): Smallanthus sochifolius, Polymnia edulis, Polymnia sonchifolia
- cyano, cyano-