A cousin of the taro root, malanga is also a
tuber. It varies considerably in size, and can weigh between 1/2 to 2 pounds. Covered with
a shaggy, brown skin, its flesh can be yellow, beige, or pink.
Malanga is usually ground into a paste which can be used to make a rich, starchy flour
which can be used in an assortment of foods. Malanga can also be sliced and fried, stewed, or grilled.
People with food allergies sometimes find that malanga is a great hypoallergenic flour alternative,
because the particles of starch are very small, reducing the risk of an allergic reaction.
Two varieties of malanga include:
- Malanga blanca which is the most common variety found in the US
and varies from a light, earthy, & waxy form to mild and smooth.
- Malanga lila/colorada, simply lila in Cuban markets,
has the same club-shaped, scruffy look as the blanca; but the interior is a light grayish-lavender,
which turns a putty colour when cooked. The texture is heavier than the blanca as is the flavor,
which has a hint of bacon.