Arracacha facts

Arracacha is a root vegetable inherent to Andean region of South America which is related to celery and carrots. The root possesses white and smooth skin which resembles a large white parsnip or carrot. It has mild flavor similar to cabbage, celery or chestnut. The stems are green along with purple streaks which can be consumed raw or boiled. It is generally cultivated in South America, Central America and Caribbean. The roots are starchy and cultivated as a commercial crop.

Name Arracacha
Scientific Name Arracacia xanthorrhiza
Native Originally from Andes.
It is also available in various Central and South American countries such as Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Puerto Rico.
Common/English Name Arracacha, Peruvian Parsnip, Peruvian Carrot, White Carrot
Name in Other Languages Aymara: Lakachu;
Spanish, Quechua: Arracacha;
Qeuchua: Racacham;
Brazil (Portuguese): Batata–Apio;
Tupi: Batata- Tupinambá;
Chile: Lacache;
Muzo: Arocueche;
Paez-Coconuco: Guaud;
Chocó Indians: Pacucarrá;
Kamsá: Yengó;
Spanish: Zanahoria;
Cuba: Arracacha;
Ecuador (Spanish, Quechua): Arracacha;
Spanish: Zanahoria;
French: Arracacha;
Latin America (Spanish): Arrecate;
Peru: Arracacha;
Puerto Rico: Apio;
Venezuela (Ayoman): Aricachi;
Timote: Kiu-Tits
Plant Growth Habit Stout, caulescent and herbaceous
Soil Well-drained
Plant Size Height: 0.5-1.2 m
Lifespan Perennial
Root Long, thin, spindle; Length: 2 and 10 inches (5-25 cm); Diameter: 1-2 inches (2-6 cm)
Root skin Smooth
Root color White
Flesh color White, yellow or purple
Flavor/aroma Slightly sweet and nutty
Stem Green, cylindrical and smooth
Leaf Ovate, dark green to purple, tripinnate; Length and Breadth: 1-3 cm
Flower Oval, purplish to maroon
Fruit shape & size Oblong, one seeded, Length: 10 mm, Across: 2-3 mm
Health Benefits
  • Chronic ailments
  • Pregnancy
  • Cardiovascular ailments
  • Pellagra
  • Treats gout
  • Treats cancer
  • Assist cardiac function
  • Enhance mood
  • Assist digestion
Calories in 100 gm 104 Kcal.
Major Nutritions Iron, Fe 9 mg (112.50%)
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 4.3 mg (26.88%)
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) 23 mg (25.56%)
Carbohydrate 26.7 g (20.54%)
Magnesium, Mg 63.05 mg (15.01%)
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 0.1 mg (8.33%)
Phosphorus, P 50 mg (7.14%)
Calcium, Ca 31.7 mg (3.17%)
Total dietary Fiber 0.85 g (2.24%)
Protein 0.505 g (1.01%)
  • The intake of roots in excessive amounts may turn the individual skin to yellowish.
  • One should consult a physician if experienced any adverse effects.
How to Eat
  • The roots are consumed boiled or used as an ingredient in stews, soups, dumplings, side dishes, gnocchi, purees and pastries.
  • The roots are added to stews of meat, vegetables and cheese.
  • In Brazilian cuisine, hot and mashed Arracacha is used with egg yolks and butter to prepare a dish called Souffl é de.
  • In Minas Gerais, Arracacha is used instead of potato to prepare a dish named gnocchi.
  • In Costa Rica, chopped Arracacha is fried with minced onions and meat and used as a filler in tortillas de maize.
  • Arracacha is used as an ingredient in the baby food and instant soups.
  • The leaves and stems are prepared as celery either raw or cooked in salads.
  • The root is used as a thickener for fast food or baby food.
  • It is used as an additive in the food diet.
  • Arracacha can be baked, fried and boiled.
  • In Brazil, dried Arracacha is added to the dehydrated soups.
  • The starchy tubers or roots are consumed like other root vegetables.
  • It is used to add a flavor and color to various dishes.
  • Roots are used to make biscuits, fried chips and coarse flour.
  • It is used to make purees and soups which is good for babies and children.
Other Facts
  • The name Arracacha is derived from a native South American language, Quechua.
  • The roots are also called White Carrots.
  • It has four times more calcium than potatoes.
  • The plants of Arracacha plants are mostly grown in domestic gardens.
  • It is planted with food crops such as coffee, potatoes, maize and beans.
  • In the Southern Hemisphere, the harvest season is January to September.