4 Authentic Vegetables That Start With J

Finding vegetables with the letter J is not an easy task, especially if you’re searching for options that can be clearly defined as a real vegetable. 

Experts define a vegetable as the edible portion of a plant which is usually grouped according to the portion of the plant that is consumed such as leaves, stems, roots, tubers, bulbs, and flowers. 

So, what vegetables start with the letter J? Let’s look at 4 different veggies. 

Jicama

jicama

Also known as jacatupé, paquirrizo, potato bean, macuco bean, ahipa, jiquima, Chinese potato, water potato, and many other names from various cultures, Jicama is pretty hard to find in regular supermarkets, so you have to try your luck with Latin America or Asian markets and potentially health food stores. 

It is a rarer root vegetable whose ripe seeds and leaves are toxic due to the presence of rotenone, a substance that is sometimes used to paralyze fish and facilitate capture.

Its appearance is akin to sweet potatoes, but it is flatter and more lobulated, and its texture when eaten is crunchy and moist, and its coloring inside is whitish, somewhat reminiscent of turnips and radishes. 

Some varieties of this root vegetable can have a more elongated shape, like a carrot, and its flavor is quite sweet and distinctive, much similar to the yacon potato. 

Jicama is native to Mexico and Central America, where it has been grown for centuries. It is thought to have originated in the Andes mountains. It’s also worth reminding that only the roots of the plant can be consumed, so do keep that in mind. 

Jalapeño

jalapeno

The jalapeño pepper is originally from Mexico but became popular worldwide due to its characteristic flavor and low pungency. Its name is a homage to the city of Xalapa, the capital of Vera Cruz, where it was first cultivated, though in Mexico it can be found by different names, such as pimenta-domingo, huachinango, and chili pepper.

This pepper is a medium-large variety of the capsicums annuum species. Its seeds were spread around the world through shipping routes, being taken initially to Africa and Asia, and later to Europe, roughly between 1492 and 1600. Today it is the most popular pepper in North America.

On the Scoville Scale – the method used to measure the pungency degree of peppers – jalapeño has a low rank, with 2.500 to 10.000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units).

Compared to the world’s most pungent pepper, the Carolina Reaper, which can reach 2,000,000 SHU, it is an extremely mild pepper.

Unlike the Carolina Reaper, the jalapeño is a versatile pepper that can be eaten while still green or ripe, when it acquires a deep red hue. There are countless possibilities for recipes, ranging from sweet and savory dishes to the most creative drinks.

Jerusalem Artichoke

jerusalem artichoke

The Jerusalem artichoke is also known as the potato sunflower, tupinambo, or sunflower artichoke. It is a plant species in the Asteraceae family, with large leaves, bright yellow flowers, and fleshy tubers. It is a very similar plant to the sunflower, hence why it’s also referred to as sunflower artichoke. 

Its tubers are edible and are the main reason for cultivating this plant. They have an irregular round or oval shape, but always with a thinner base. Their color varies from yellow to red and their whole structure resembles a potato.

It is an easy plant to grow as it can adapt to all types of soil. You can plant it in a pot or in a piece of soil that you have available at home. It’s also pretty versatile in the kitchen. It can be cooked and eaten in the same way as potatoes: baked, steamed, pureed, or as a soup base. You can also eat it raw, as you would use carrots or beets, just grate or cut it into thin slices and place it on top of the salad.

Japanese Eggplant

japanese eggplant

Different regions have different specialties, and in the case of eggplants, Japanese eggplants have a unique appearance and flavor.

They are quite different from ordinary eggplants in color, appearance, and flavor. Unlike the standard teardrop-shaped eggplant, they are cylindrical and carry fewer seeds. They are also generally much smaller than American, European, or Australian eggplants.

The name “Japanese” eggplant serves to describe different varieties of eggplants grown in Japan, which include common cultivars such as Millionaire and Orient Express, or varieties like Konasu, Kurume, Shoya Long, and Mangan.

Yet, despite the variability, most eggplants labeled as “Japanese” in the market will be dark purple cultivars with a long, slender, and tapered appearance (like the one in the image above). 

In modern-day, they’re one of the most popular culinary ingredients for stir-fries and side dishes in Japan, and it’s highly valued for nearly seedless flesh, making them a perfect option for fried dishes. 

Alexandre Valente

Hey there! My name is Alex and I've been vegan for more than five years! I've set up this blog because I'm really passionate about veganism and living a more eco-conscious life. Hopefully, I can use this website as a channel to help you out on your own journey!

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