Mandioquinha, Batata Baroa, Peruvian Parsnip or By Any Other Name; Arracacia xanthorrhiza are Divine

Posted on November 26, 2007. Filed under: arracacha, Arracacia xanthorrhiza, Baby Beef, baroa potato, batata baroa, Bife de Tira, comfort food, food, gnocchi, Inca, mandioquinha, mashed potatoes, peruvian parsnip | Tags: , , , |

Batata Baroabatata baroa

They look like carrots, but don’t think carrots. Think of a potato eloping with a macadamia nut. A grilled T-Bone loves mashed potatoes, but a South American, grass-fed Bife de Tira or Baby Beef Steak loves mashed batata baroa. Imagine the ultimate comfort food, mashed potatoes packed with an earthy, nutty punch.

These tubers go by many names. Arracacha, apio criollo, arrecate, mandioquinha, batata baroa and the peruvian parsnip are a few. Not to be confused with their Eurasian cousin the common parsnip (Pastinaca sativa), the arracacia varieties are native to the Andes. They were believed to be cultivated by the Incas, and are currently grown in Peru, Bolivia, Columbia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Brazil.

mashing batata baroa

mashing batata baroa

As versatile as the potato the batata baroa (I’ll call it what they call it here in Rio) can, of course be mashed, made into casseroles and soups and makes excellent gnocchi. Their starchiness really comes out when you mash them. It looks as if you could use them as grout for bricks. They absorb so much more milk and butter. Unlike potatoes, their texture does not suffer when using a hand-mixer. But, like my experience with potatoes, they don’t do well in the freezer.
The variety common here in Rio is golden. They look like you’ve added a touch of saffron. I don’t include a recipe here. I merely suggest, for a maiden voyage, mashing them like you would potatoes.

Mashed batata baroa with a contra file steak

mashed batata baroa with a contra filé steak

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10 Responses to “Mandioquinha, Batata Baroa, Peruvian Parsnip or By Any Other Name; Arracacia xanthorrhiza are Divine”

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I would love to purchase some of these to eat & grow. Any suggestions as to a source would be greatly appreciated!

If your in Brazil you can buy them almost any place legumes are sold

@ Mark,
Yes, I can buy them throughout the year. Now, at the end of summer they are especially good.
@ Denise,
I think you can find parsnips at many farmer’s markets. They are not a super market item. I bet there are several varieties that are quite delicious available in North America.
Unlike potatoes that can hang around your kitchen for a while, mandioquinha go bad pretty quickly. I have to cook them within a day or two after buying them.
I suggest digging around local farmer’s market for more information on who’s growing them in the States (if that’s where you are).

I researche around and there’s no place around NY, NJ and CO that sell it. But some restaurants carry it. It must be the jewell of Brazil.

Gente boa!!!
Estou nos Estados Unidos ha 22 anos… estou desesperada pra comer mandioquinha. Alguem sabe se encontro aqui??


Just returned from Rio and had this as side with chicken with a mushroom sauce,for lunch was THE best.Can one find batata baroa here..Canada? Toronto??

I just had this as a side at almost every small restaurant by the beach over the holidays last year. It’s great!
So, this post is from 2007… what’s going on now? Have you abandoned this blog?

I hope to return blogging during the holidays. Thanks for reading.

I wished I could find to buy seeds from this root. I want to try the same I did with GILO, which I have in big vases. This way I can keep them climate control environment.

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