As some readers will know, last year my garden was host to an enormous potato plantation, and we still making our way through the crop. I'm keen to avoid another such glut, particularly since I'm not actually a potato fan, so I thought I'd try Yacon as an interesting alternative.
It is meant to have a crunchy texture and a slightly fruity / chestnut taste. Here is how the Real Seed Catalogue describes it:
"Yacon is a large plant from South America, distantly related to sunflowers, and it has huge, attractive fuzzy green leaves. It has very pretty little yellow flowers at the top of each stalk.
The plants are very easy to grow and seem to thrive in almost any soil or climate. Underground, it grows a bit like a dahlia.. At the end of the season you dig it all up and the storage tubers are the bit you eat - they are really sweet and crunchy. The knobbly growing tips you divide and replant, so you don't need to keep buying it."
Reading that it contains inulin (like Jerusalem Artichokes) makes me a teeny bit concerned that it may prove, like them, to taste delicious but have unfortunate gastric impact! We'll see. In the meantime, it is potted up in the greenhouse waiting to be planted out once the weather improves.
If you're interested in learning more, The Guardian also has a nice article on Yacon here.