Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Getting to the Root...

of tannia...
aka malanga

this edible plant has large leaves that can grow to a few feet in size...
and it's young leaves can be eaten the same way as spinach

beautiful flowers that start out as pods...

bloom, then die quickly

but, down in the root section...

is what we dig

my husband with the stronger muscles has that job

and he does it very admirably

those roots we like so much are actually...

the rhizomes

the way ginger root are actually rhizomes rather than the actual plant root

it takes someone willing to dig into the soft, wet dirt with bare hands...

to bring up that yummy food

with a brown, rough, shaggy skin...
and starchy, crisp flesh that can be creamy white, pink, yellow or purplish...

these are one of my favorite root veggies...
cooked any way one likes; boiled, mashed, fried, cut up into soups and stews

a ground provision with a nutty, earthy, flavor whose flesh turns soft when cooked

the tannia/malanga starch is easily digested...
contains calcium, fiber, iron, protein, potassium, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamin C...
and safe for diabetics

it is sometimes used to make a gluten-free flour for those with celiac disease 

if you live in the Caribbean or other tropical locations, it is more easily available
if you live in the US, you may be able to come across it in markets that carry Caribbean or Hispanic foods
I recommend this good tasting rhizome
just make sure it is not cracked or soft or have a rotten smell...
it should be firm to handle

May you have a good day, or night in God's grace.


  1. This is so interesting that a root coming from that lush plant would be so yummy. I always wonder how someone came about digging up a root and cooking it in the first place. xo

  2. Those roots look a bit like cassava to me. When I did some research I discovered that malangas are also called eddoes, and I have eaten them! I used to attend a church in a suburb of Toronto, Canada, where many people from all over the Caribbean attended. I was blessed to try a variety of Caribbean foods at many church potlucks! My friend used to add them to her stews, instead of potatoes. They are available in many of our supermarkets, here in Canada.

  3. Feel free to correct me...maybe those roots are not eddoes? Wikipedia: "Eddoes are also called malangas in Spanish-speaking areas, but that name is also used for other plants of the Araceae family, including tannia (Xanthosoma spp.)"

    1. Brenda, tannias and eddoes look so much alike, they are often confused, even by many who give out information on them. The tannia has a different taste and texture from the eddoe. I plan on doing a post soon on the different types of root vegetables as these and show the difference between them, including their leaves.

  4. This was a very interesting process to view through your photographs. I always learn something new when I visit here. I LOVE that!

    Blessings to you! :)

  5. Interesting to learn about this plant!

  6. I'll have to write that name down, and the next time we visit the larger city near us, look for it so we can try it. You teach us so much, I love learning about new to me/nutritious foods!

  7. Thanks for the fun information! I've never met a root vegetable that I didn't like....but I am realizing that I have not met many! I'll have to see if I can find some tania/malanga. Have a beautiful day!

  8. Wow! what a root system that is! I can surely see why hubby's muscles are much needed to get this food that you enjoy. I've never heard of it before, but the blooms it make are pretty and strong looking too.

    I admire that deep rich color of soil. I wouldn't mind putting my bare hands in once dug up! My hubby sometimes is puzzled at me and how much I get a kick out dirt, lol!
    Blessings & Peace.
    with Love in Christ, Deanna

  9. I love this pictorial. I posted a meal I ate which included tania and someone on my facebook page asked me what it was. Google brought me here and I'm glad it did. I posted the link to this article for the person to get the explanation. Thanks so much for this.

  10. Hi! After you gather all the big rhizomes, does your husband just replant the rest of the plant/roots to continue to produce more rhizomes?

  11. Hi! After you gather all the big rhizomes, does your husband just replant the rest of the plant/roots to continue to produce more rhizomes?