What is Yucca – plant description, growing and cooking options

The yucca is a tropical bush that grows in the southern United States and Mexico. It is grown primarily for it’s roots which are eaten in many Latin American dishes. It can also be ground into a flour that is used in a great many other dishes.

Yucca flower in the garden

The most common use for yucca is as a substitute for potatoes, it is great when added to stew. It can also be boiled, fried or roasted. Yucca chips are becoming a popular snack item. The amount of yucca being sold is increasing every year and it is starting to find it’s way into dishes around the world and not just in Latin America.

Yucca trees outside

If you decide you want to grow your own yucca you should realize that it is not the most convenient vegetable in the world to grow and eat.

Yucca plant leaves

It needs to be harvested on time or it will go rotten fairly quickly. Before it can be eaten the root needs to be peeled, which is not easy to do, it requires a very sharp knife. There is also a string like fibre at the centre of the root that is very hard and needs to be removed after you cook the yucca.

Yucca flower leaf

For all of these reasons most people prefer to buy their yucca at the grocery store rather than trying to grow their own. It is now possible to find bags of frozen yucca that has already been peeled and cut, most people appreciate the convenience of not having to prepare it themselves.

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