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I recently ordered a grocery delivery from Whole Foods, and as I was ordering I noticed they had rutabagas, which I've never had before, so I decided to try them. What I got was this:

an unknown vegetable

They don't look anything like any picture I can find online of rutabagas, which are supposed to look like a large turnip. Instead, these appear to be some sort of yam. (That is, an actual yam, not a sweet potato, which for some reason is commonly called a yam in the US!)

Adding to the confusion, they appear to be coated with a thick layer of wax. I googled vegetables covered with wax, and all that shows up is lots of pages about rutabagas! Rutabagas, it turns out, are commonly waxed to keep them from drying out. I can't find any information about waxed yams, though. So, what are these things?

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    They're definitely not rutabagas. Other than that, I've got nuttin'. – Marti Mar 4 at 17:31
  • Not a Yam. Not a Sweet Potato. A lot of confusion comes from Sweet Potatoes being sold in cans as "Yams", How to Tell the Difference – elbrant Mar 5 at 0:53
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    Ok folks, normally we don't delete suppose answered oh a question, because sometimes a different word explanation gets the information across better. But here, we have many people who simply state the same thing as the first answer. If you agree with an existing answer, just upvote. Only post an answer of your iwn if it has relevant information missing from existing answers. – rumtscho Mar 5 at 8:39
  • @Marti Yeah, I'm not Gordon Ramsay or anything, but those are definitely not Rutabagas – Kevin Mar 5 at 15:01
  • Bite it, what does it taste like? – MonkeyZeus Mar 5 at 20:47
8

It really looks like cassava. Are you in the U.S.? Can you call the Whole Foods that prepared your order to confirm this vegetable? You can Google "cassava," and "rutabaga," and see the clear differences between vegetables... yours looks like the former, while rutabagas look like balls of white and pink (like beets). Also, be sure to look up how to cook/prepare cassava. Hope it goes well!

https://www.google.com/search?q=cassava+root&client=safari&rls=en&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiV19yn4-ngAhVNMt8KHTwADNUQ_AUIDigB&biw=1315&bih=684

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    You're right, this is definitely cassava. I'll go look up how to prepare it safely! – Josh Mar 5 at 23:56
40

It looks like it could be yuca/cassava, based on the appearance alone. (Note: this is not the same as or related to yucca.) The picture on Wikipedia even shows a waxed version.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassava

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    Looks like it ! Where I live we call them manioc – Sarumanatee Mar 4 at 20:28
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    A note - Cassava can be rather poisonous if not prepared correctly. I would recommend being at least somewhat familiar with it before haphazardly adding it to your dinner. – MikeTheLiar Mar 4 at 22:16
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    @MikeTheLiar Cassava sold whole and in a grocery store is overwhelmingly likely to be sweet cassava, which isn't (significantly) poisonous. – Sneftel Mar 5 at 8:57
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    Yes that's yuca. Albeit some amazonian varieties are poisonous and require a special preparation, the variety available in stores is not. To prepare, just remove the skin, cut the body on pieces and cook it, in a similar way to potatoes. Fried yuca is very nice as well. – aizquier Mar 5 at 16:09
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    Cassava. I'm from Argentina, we call this mandioca. It's used pretty much like potatoes in the north of the country. It's a bit more fibrous. You'll find some long fibers in my grandma's mashed mandioca. It can also be fried or baked. – istepaniuk Mar 5 at 18:59
-1

It looks like taro root to me, if it's purple inside it probabls is.

https://www.google.com/search?q=taro&safe=active&rlz=1C1GCEA_enUS820US820&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjghf7L0OngAhUIip4KHe2kA-kQ_AUIDigB&biw=1091&bih=1388&dpr=1.1

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    Sorry but that's not it. Taro is a short root, even the texture is different. That in the question is clearly a cassava root. – Luciano Mar 5 at 10:58
  • I have seen short round taro, but I have also seen taro in the same shape as pictured above. and the texture looks the same to me. Did you visit my link? – Brian Mar 5 at 18:33
  • I visited your link. Trust me, in real life they look very different, I've had both cassava and taro many times. Also when you cut them open they're clearly different. – Luciano Mar 6 at 10:32

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