Actually a close relative of the sunflower and Jerusalem Artichoke. Cultivated in the Andes for centuries and treated more as a fruit than a veg although its crispy texture and flavour make it hugely versatile. Flavour has a touch of pear or a sweet cross of early apples, watermelon or celery. After the first few frosts the tops will die and the potato-like tubers are ready for harvest. Keep the growing points of the plant in a frost-free place over winter (just like your dahlias) and replant in the spring for next year's crop. Ht to 1 metre with tiny yellow flowers at end of season. Priced for: 2 litre pot
Use: Make a salad with cubed raw yacon, blue cheese and walnuts. Boil and reduce down to a syrup that is low in sugar and makes a great substitute for those on low-carb, low-sugar diets.