Yacón Should Be the Bacon of Vegetables
Chef Scott Anderson thinks yacón is the next big root vegetable.
We asked chefs to peek into their crystal balls and tell us what foods we’ll be talking about in the next five years. Here’s what they predicted.
“I think there’s going to be a resurgence of Central and South American ingredients,” says chef Scott Anderson of New Jersey’s elements. “In the '90s, there was a little push with Nuevo Latino cuisine. But I think chefs are going to branch out to use those ingredients without being cuisine-based.” His main obsession is with Central and South American root vegetables like boniato, jicama, yucca and a relative of the sunflower called yacón. “I think if more people were introduced to the yacón, it would be very widely used,” he says. “We use it in all kinds of forms: Sometimes we boil and mash it, sometimes we puree it. It has some faint vanilla tones, it’s a little sunchoke-y, and it has a sweetness almost like it’s caramelized when it’s not.”