Botanical name: Smallanthus sonchifolius
Yacón, or Peruvian apple is the edible tuber of this plant and its taste is really hard to describe, except delicious, sweet, somewhat juicy, and very refreshing!
It has a crunchy texture somewhat like an apple, and a taste all of its own. Sweet like a fruit but more diverse — I’ve sliced it up into disks to nibble on its own, have added it cubed to fruit salads (it will brown as apples do), and it is incredible in a savoury stir-fry as well! (I cut them into thin chips for that.) Yacon and oyster sauce go surprisingly well together!
I find it more refreshing than water too — when working in the garden on a really hot day I’ve often dug one up there and then as a thirst-quencher (you may wish to remove the very thin skin and wash it first ;) )
Diabetics may wish to read up on its apparent medicinal benefits too.
Each plant produces tubers which you eat, and rhizomes from which new plants grow. I’ll dig up an occasional tuber on a hot summer or early autumn day (see thirst-quenching note above), but harvest them in bulk when the plant dies down around June, and either leave the rhizomes in place or divide to plant elsewhere. The tubers sweeten further when left to dry.
As with potatoes, the more fertile the soil the more numerous and larger the tubers, which are somewhat cylindrical with tapered ends.
Please note that the plants in the photo are for planting now, ready for harvest next June or so. There is no edible part on these ones yet.
Pot is 90 mm square and 150 mm deep.