Already at food number 154 on my 200 paleo foods challenge! So far it’s been easy, not sure if this means it’s actually a pretty achievable goal or if it’s going to suddenly get a lot harder now that I’ve eaten my way through most of the odd fruits and vegetables at the grocery store and farmers market.
So in case you were wondering what some of those odd tubers in the root vegetable section of the grocery store are…
Boniato is a dense, slightly sweet root with a somewhat purplish skin. It falls between a potato and a sweet potato in flavor and texture. Apparently they are very popular in the Caribbean, particularly Cuba, and are often called Cuban or Caribbean sweet potatoes. Of the new root vegetables I’ve tried I think this one makes the best non-nightshade substitute for a regular potato.
Name root is much denser and starchier than a regular potato, but otherwise similar. Though less flavorful. Basically not as good as a potato or a boniato, though maybe I just haven’t had a really good one yet.
Cassava, also called yuca and tapioca (when dried and powdered), is a South and Central American staple and something I’d always wanted to try in its original state. Didn’t end up cooking plain pieces of it but did end up making paleo cassava flatbread out of it, which was delicious. A super easy recipe, the hardest part was getting the thick brown skin off.
The surprising variety of sweet potatoes! White sweet potatoes taste just like honey and are my new favorite type of sweet potato. The Japanese sweet potato was a close second: it tasted like brown sugar. I highly recommend looking out for both of those. The garnet sweet potato was a bit meh, as was the extremely dense purple sweet potato, though it was pretty cool just how deeply, seriously purple that one was. Of course the standard orange, (I tried a Covington, similar to the Jewel in the picture), was good too, but very familiar. I had no idea sweet potatoes came in such a variety of colors and tastes.
However I think my favorite new strange root is still the malanga blanca. It has the most unusual new texture and flavor, it’s rich and nutty, and rather than just being a slightly different take on the potato or sweet potato the malanga blanca is a whole new vegetable experience.
In my quest for new foods I’ve also tried three new types of seafood (I’ve never been a seafood eater): shrimp, large scallops, and lobster. The last was at the Outback Steakhouse. I can’t decide whether going to the Outback Steakhouse at all, let alone ordering a plate like the one below, or blogging about food is the more bizarre new behavior for me.