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Pachyrhizus erosus – Wikipedia

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**Botanical Information**:
– Jícama vine can reach 4–5 meters in height.
Root can grow up to 2 meters in length and weigh up to 20 kilograms.
– Requires 9 months without frost for a good harvest.
– Suitable for cooler areas with at least 5 months without frost.
– Unsuitable for short growing seasons unless in a greenhouse.
– Taxonomy includes other names like Mexican potato, ahipa, and Chinese potato.
– Found in markets as P. erosus, with two cultivated forms.

**Historical and Geographical Context**:
– Originated in Mexico and Central America.
– Found at archaeological sites in Peru dating back to 3000 BC.
– Introduced to Asia in the 17th century by the Spanish.
– Grown in Padang, becoming part of local culture.
– Widely grown and consumed in many regions.

**Toxicity and Safety**:
Plant’s remainder is poisonous, with seeds containing rotenone toxin.
– Only the root is edible, while the rest of the plant is toxic.
– Important to avoid consuming any part other than the root.
– Proper handling and preparation are crucial.

**Culinary Usage and Nutrition**:
– Culinary uses include raw consumption and cooking in soups.
– Flavor is sweet and starchy, similar to apples or raw green beans.
– Low in calories, high in fiber, rich in vitamin C, contains potassium, and good source of antioxidants.
– Can be made into flour and used in various dishes like salads, fruit bars, and cooked dishes.

**Storage, Cultural Significance, and Growth**:
– Store in a cool, dark place or refrigerate for extended freshness.
– Cut jicama should be stored in water.
– Cultural significance in traditional dishes, symbolizing good luck and prosperity.
– Requires a long growing season, thrives in warm climates, harvested when vines die back, and tubers grow underground.

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