Like scrunchy socks, shoulder pads and Wang Chung, jicama was a big deal in the '80s. I hadn't thought about the vegetable in years until we went to a Marlins game in their new ballpark. I bought a fruit cup, and amid the spears of watermelon, pineapple and mango were jicama sticks. I also found it in the hummus and veggie snack at the ballpark.
My regular grocery store doesn't carry jicama because the produce guy says when they do have them, no one buys them and they sit there like a lonely, tuberous dork until they rot. I did finally find one at Whole Foods.
Jicama is really versatile. Behind its homely brown exterior is a crunchy, slightly sweet and firm flesh that is great cubed or sliced in salads, or sliced into dippable sticks.
It's low in calories and high in water content and fiber -- the slightly sweet taste comes from inulin, a fiber found in the flesh. A cup of jicama is only around 50 calories and around 6 grams of fiber.
I cut the whole thing in half and then cut it into inch-wide slabs. Then I cut off the skin with a paring knife -- using a vegetable peeler won't really work because the skin is thick. After you have the slabs you can slice them into sticks.
Jicama is great on its own (or dipped into ballpark hummus). I enhanced its Mexican heritage with a sprinkle of chili powder and True Lime powder.