The yacon stems have dropped nearly all their leaves so I harvested the first of the plants today. They don’t need to be dug up—I just grab the stems and yank. This is what was underneath:
The elongated brown tubers are the edible parts. They’re actually swollen roots. They’re very crisp and juicy with a sweet taste and need to be peeled. They’re good in salads (sweet or savoury). I also like them cut into quarter-inch slices and fried in butter. They don’t soften but remain crisp and take on the flavour of the butter.
The knobbly pink tubers are the ones that are planted again to provide the next crop which will form underneath them. The little raised white bits are where new stems will grow.
After a clean-up in the sink this is how they looked:
The growth tubers can be planted again right away, but if I’m not ready to do that, I’ll store them in a box of moist sand or cocopeat until spring, when they will begin to shoot.
Yacon provides a useful winter harvest when there’s not much else around.