#AtoZChallenge 2016, A-Z Challenge, Challenges, Food

{J}icama: #AtoZChallenge 2016

Jicama.

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Okay.  I have to admit that my first experience with this (what I have come to learn) root was a couple of years ago.  While having lunch with one of my Philippine colleagues, she pulled from her lunch sac what looked to me like a potato, and began to peel it.  After watching her get all of the tough, bark-like skin off,  I couldn’t image what she was going to do with this ‘potato ‘.

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Not afraid to ask a question, if it means that I will learn something new,  I asked her about this ‘potato’ that she seemed content to eat raw.  She gave me an abridged cultural lesson that included a brief intro of the veggie before offering a taste.  Can I say that I was pleasantly surprised!  What I expected was the starchy taste of a potato. What I got was the juicy hybrid flavors of a savory apple, the crunch of water chestnut and the sweetness of a pear.  Yep!!!!  Couldn’t believe it!  This was reeeally good!

Native to Mexico (but no stranger in Latin America and South-East Asian countries) the plant is a member of the bean family.  It grows on vines that can reach up to twenty feet in length.  The root is the only edible portion if the plant;  its leaves and seeds contain a mild toxin!  WHOA!

 Here’s a little more about the WHAT

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And WHY of this food

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Today, Jicama is a stable on my ‘must have‘ grocery list.  I’ve even learned to pronounce it correctly – [HEE ka ma].

Enjoy!

Have you cooked with Jicama?

Do tell…..

Next. Letter {K}

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#AtoZChallenge 2016, A-Z Challenge, Challenges, Food, Hello.IAmPhat

{I}nfusion: #AtoZChallenge 2016

Infusion is the process and the result of, steeping an aromatic substance into a liquid – hot or cold – until the liquid has absorbed the added ingredient’s flavor .

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The beauty of infusion is that,  not only do the flavor(s) being extracted from foods infiltrate the liquid, the flavors of the liquid is transferred into the food.  Think of it  as one hand washing the other!

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Flavored vinegars and oils, milk, and tea leaves and  herb and spices – lavender comes to mind – are common ingredients used in the infusion process.

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One of the most common and well-known types of infusion is used in the process of preserving food.  The berries and fruit are placed in alcohol or vinegar allowing them to be stored, without spoiling.

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Now,  you’re always ready for that unexpected houseguest!

Don’t think that you’ve used this technique?   Have you added fruit to your water?  How about lemons slices?  Cucumbers slices? Mint leaves? Thyme? Rosemary?

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Infusions are all around us!  There are endless ways to create them!  Today’s infusions techniques helps me turn, what can be, a multi-day/month process, into a few hours work.

When it comes to infusions,  you are only limited by your creativity!  Have fun!

Coffee and business strategy

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What have you infused lately?

Do tell…

Next.  The Letter {J}

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