Last night, I devoured cold white spears of jicama at my favorite empanada restaurant, drenched in warm, spicy cheese sauce. In its natural state, jicama looks like a pregnant turnip, an oddly spherical South American root vegetable.
Luckily, I didn’t know what it looked like so the beefy, young man in the vegetable department showed me today. And then he divulged his secret to choosing them. He said, the perfect ones with smooth skin and no cuts taste more like a water chestnut. Refreshing and a little bland. But the imperfect ones yield a deeper, richer flavor, sort of like a perfectly aged pear.
I chose the imperfect one and smiled to think he found a few wrinkles and scars sweeter.