Hellova Jicama (HIH-cuh-muh)

I ran into a problem at the grocery store this week that I often do while buying foods for my blog, but this time it was taken to the extreme.

I was standing in line to pay for my full cart of kid yogurt, hotdogs, and odd dangerous foodie ingredients, trying to prevent my kids from strangling one another, when the acne ridden checkout teen lazily called, “override please, checkout 5,” into his phone/PA.  Everyone in line took a deep breath trying to ground themselves in patience they didn’t have, but who’s kidding who, I had it worst because I was the only one with kids.  Forget self-checkout and express lanes, there definitely needs to be a “hey I’ve got kids get me the frick out of here,” line.  Even if you don’t have kids you’d appreciate that for the second-hand good it would do you.

Anyway, it turns out that the old woman in front of me had a coupon for adult diapers that she thought would get her two packs for free without putting a single cent down when in fact it was only a BOGO, and the matter was complicated by the fact that she didn’t speak English.  The manager of the store took more than ten minutes to show up at the register to put her magic Alice in Wonderland key in to undo whatever the clerk had done before he was finally able to ring through all of my purchases that were splayed across the grocery belt, having prevented my escape previously.  I rolled my two children who were now blind from having poked one another’s eyes out up to the cash and got ready to pay, only to be faced with what always happens when I buy stuff for this website.  The clerk held this up…

…and said, “What is this?”

By now there were about eight people in line, and they were in no mood for me to run to where I had found it.  Luckily I usually take a picture of the sign posted above my strange food items so that I don’t forget what they are, so I was able to show him this, the sign that was posted over my round tuber veggie roots:

To which he said, “No, I know what Cocoes are.  These are not that.”

I’ll tell you, dear reader(s), that at least 60% of the time the sign posted above a strange veggie does not describe what it should.  You may have read in my blog previously that once I picked up horseradish that was labelled taro.  If it had been taro and I had prepared it as horseradish I would have poisoned my husband.  Thanks to google photos, he lived to tell the tale of how I make the best horseradish ever.  When I say I cook dangerously I mean it literally.

Anyway, when the guy didn’t know what my veggie was, I considered throwing it at him and telling him to forget it, as I watched his face wonder how badly I really needed something that I couldn’t identify.  But I stood my ground.  I’m telling you this story because even though I wanted to end my grocery store pain, I fought for my little cocoes that turned out (with the help of a senior grocery checker professional who said they were something that started with “j”) to actually be jicama.  And I want you to remember this story and do the same, the next time something won’t scan or your item is strange or your checker is incompetent.  You make them call that manager, and you cross your arms and look smug as the whole line swears at you over Twitter into their phones.

I say this because it turns out that jicama is a delicious wonder food, and so obviously I was rewarded for having had the patience of the Dalai Lama and the perseverance of Rosie MacLennan that day (the latter being our only gold medalist in these Olympic games, in the death defying art of the trampoline).

Jicama Hash Browns

  • 3 jicama, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1Tbsp butter

Directions:  I talked so long telling an anti-climactic story that I’ll let you off easy with a simple recipe.  Melt the butter in a pan.  Sautee the onion until translucent over medium-high heat.  Add the jicama and continue to sautee until slightly brown, about 10 minutes.


Shockingly good.  I “adapted” the recipe from one in the Diabetes Daily  which said that it’s a great low carb substitute for potatoes.  I just found it tasty!  When I tasted it raw, jicama was fresh, almost like an apple crossed with a potato (but less sweet), and cooked it tasted crispier than cooked potatoes.  I will stump grocery checkers with them on a regular basis and throw them into salads raw or cook them as a side dish.  Rating:  3 Yums

Just as an aside

On our recent vacation driving from Calgary to Kelowna we stopped at a rest stop candy store that had everything.  I was tempted to try these and write them up for the site, but I used the fact that I wouldn’t have to do anything to prepare them as an excuse not to:


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