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Cherry Red Oca
Inventory, lb : 0
This item was last sold on : 08/17/18
Cherry Red ocas have an appearance similar to that of a wrinkled fingerling potato, small in size and cylindrical and petite in shape, growing between 2-15 centimeters in length. The skin is a vibrant rosy red and has a waxy sheen lined with indentations running along the tuber. The Cherry Red oca offers a sweet and sour taste when first harvested. If allowed to sit in the sun for a few weeks after harvest, its glucose levels will nearly double, and it will take on a notably sweeter and nutty flavor. The leaves of the Cherry Red oca plant are also edible and offer a taste similar to sorrel with sour nuances of lemon.
Cherry Red ocas are available year-round, with peak season in the fall and spring.
Cherry Red ocas, botanically classified as Oxalis tuberosa, are members of the Oxalidaceae family. Botanically speaking, the oca is not a potato, but rather a tuber of the wood sorrel family. There are hundreds of different oca varieties in the Andes, but outside of South America, New Zealand is the only country growing oca commercially today. Ocas are growing in popularity around the world as a specialty crop and are celebrated for their vibrant colors, unique appearance, and high plant yields.
Cherry Red oca tubers offer dietary fiber, vitamin C, iron, niacin, riboflavin, and phosphorus.
Cherry Red ocas are best suited for cooked applications such as roasting, boiling, steaming, sautéing, and frying. Unlike potatoes, Cherry Red ocas can be eaten raw, preferably after letting its sugars develop in the sun post-harvest. Raw Cherry Red ocas can be sliced, seasoned, or grated and incorporated in sandwiches or salsas. Cooked Cherry Red oca are perfectly sized and textured for warm and cold salads or as a topping for flatbreads and pizza. They can also be added to soups, curries, chili, and stews or served simply with butter and salt as a mash. When fried, they make excellent chips or fries. The high dry matter content of oca also makes them a viable source for making starches or alcohol. Cherry Red oca pairs well with rice, onions, garlic, capers, cumin, tarragon, thyme, white wine vinegar, parmesan cheese, cilantro, Brussel sprouts, and pickles. Store Cherry Red oca in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator or keep on the counter in a cool and dark location.
Native to South America, the oca has long been an important crop in many cultures and is believed to predate the Incas. In Andean cuisine, oca is commonly added to soups and stews. In Ecuador, sweetened oca dried slightly in the sun are preserved in syrup and used to make jams and marmalades. Colombians are known to use oca in puddings, cakes, omelets, and to make an alcoholic beverage known as chicha de oca. In Bolivia and Peru, the oca is still a key crop in providing nutrition, and it is the second most widely grown crop there.
Cherry Red oca originated in South America and made its way to Mexico in the 1700’s and to Europe and New Zealand in the mid-1800’s. While the oca experienced a small degree of popularity in Europe, it was in New Zealand where it would find its greatest commercial success outside of South America. Today, Cherry Red oca can be found in Central and South America, Europe, New Zealand, and some specialty grocers in the United States.
Recipes that include Cherry Red Oca. One is easiest, three is harder.
|He Needs Food||New Zealand Yam & Brussels Sprout Gratin|
|Chef In You||Fried (Oca) Potato Rice|
|Permaculture||Warm Oca Salad|
|Clean Eating in Texas||Red, Yellow, & Orange Potatoes|
|Simmer Stock||Oca Salad with Capers and Cornichons|