Jicama has a crisp, sweet flavor reminiscent of apples. The white flesh of the root is edible, both raw and cooked, and is often used in salads or cooked in the same manner as potatoes. This Mexican vegetable is sometimes grown in home gardens and is also available from most well-stocked grocery stores. Selecting ripe jicamas, whether you grow them yourself or purchase them, ensures the best flavor and texture.

Jicama on cutting board
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Jicama roots have smooth exteriors and white flesh.

Step 1

Examine the exterior of the jicama. Select those with an approximate 6-inch diameter and a smooth, cream or light brown exterior. Avoid wrinkled jicama roots as these are overly-mature.

Step 2

Check all sides of the jicama for cracks. Avoid those with cracks or visible bruises.

Step 3

Cut into the jicama. Under-ripe jicamas are hard and difficult to cut while a knife easily slices through a ripe jicama.

Step 4

Harvest garden-grown jicama after the foliage begins to die back but before the first fall frost. Dying foliage indicates root maturity.