Native South American Tuber


Oca is another native South American tuber grown in the high Andes since pre-Columbian times and was a staple food of various ancient cultures. The finger like tubers can be white, orange, red, pinkish or purple. Fresh ocas have a crunchy texture comparable with a carrot and a tasty sweetness. To improve its sweet flavor and culinary quality, oca is typically exposed to direct sunlight for several days prior to consumption.

The roots can be prepared like potatoes or other tubers. Traditionally they are boiled, roasted, cooked in stews or used in the famous Pachamanca. Andeans steam oca and mix it with cane syrup to produce a treat called caya or make a special chuño, which is a freeze-dried potato, out of Oca called khaya. Flour made of khaya is used to make porridge and desserts. Oca is a good source of energy; its protein and fat content is low. Studies have revealed that it has antibacterial and antifungal properties.


#Matthew Craemer2015-08-16 16:23
I have been trying to find a store in the USA that sells oca for eating, not for planting. The climate here in Wisconain does not easily allow oca to grow. If it were possible, I'd be thrilled to try, but the frost comes too early, and the ground freezes not long after. Do you know of any place, whether in the USA, Peru or anywhere else, where I can purchase oca and have it easily shipped to me in Wisconsin, USA?

Thank you very much for any help you can give me!


Matthew Craemer
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