Yautía/malanga amarilla

Xanthosoma atrovirens

Yautía/malanga amarilla (Xanthosoma atrovirens) is very different from others you’ll find in the United States. It is barrel-shaped, ridged, and dense, and the central “mother” corm is eaten instead of the lateral “baby” cormels that grow around it—the only Xanthosoma for which this is the case, according to Stephen K. O’Hair, a root and tuber crop researcher at the University of Florida Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead. Cooked, the corm is sweet, nutty, warm ocher in color, and extremely dry and dense— too much so to be eaten as a simple starchy vegetable. Maricel Presilla, an authority on Latin American food, explains that the dryness is what makes it ideal for turning into dough. “It is the malanga we use for pasteles, buñuelos, empanadas, tamales, fufu, and other well-known pastries, breads, and desserts.”