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One-of-a-Kind Oca

Oca served as a staple crop of the high Andes in Peru even before the Incas culture reached its prominence. Centuries later, in the 1970s, it started to become part of dishes in Europe and the United States. Here are three ways to bring the ancient oca into modern-day cuisines, using them on the plate and in a glass in creative new ways.

At the Bar: Oca Juice

Oca juice, when cooked, creates a highly versatile, gelatinous, sour gel. When dried, it becomes a delicate clear fruit leather and, when fried, it crisps. After cooking this juice, we’ve used it as a texture modifier in a cocktail to bring a slight viscosity and a little acidity to the final beverage.

Fine Dining: Oca and Fish

You can think of oca as a more acidic cousin of the potato; so, naturally enough, oca and fish are a natural pairing. Move over, malt vinegar!

Country Club Dining: Roasted Vegetable Mix

Oca can be deliciously incorporated into any set of roasted vegetables that you offer to diners. The acidic root vegetable browns well and is a refreshing complement to its counterparts.

More About Oca

Oca from The Chef’s Garden is sweet yet slightly tangy. The vegetable also offers up a wonderfully satisfying crunch when raw or slightly cooked that’s similar to the texture of a crunchy carrot. When more fully cooked, they have the consistency of cooked potatoes. Besides plating them as described in these three examples, you can substitute oca for dishes where you’d normally use potatoes or carrots or other root vegetables.

We hope you enjoyed this installment of plating food techniques!

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