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Put some tiger in your tank

By Howard Elias | China Daily | Updated: 2019-11-30 11:05
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Neither animal part nor nut, discover the healthy taste sensation that's spreading around the world: tiger nuts.

If you're looking for new ways to eat healthier, you may have already heard about tiger nuts, which are quickly gaining global traction.

Contrary to what the name implies, tiger nuts are neither cherished animal parts, nor are they nuts. They are, in fact, edible tubers, much like potatoes. They're a bit larger than a chickpea, and they have a slightly sweet taste and a chewy texture.

Known by its scientific name Cyperus esculentus, tiger nuts grow wild all over the world because of their hardiness; they're most widely cultivated in Spain, West Africa and India. Above ground, the tiger nut plant, which has many names including yellow nutsedge, looks similar to a tuft of grass.

Below ground, though, tiny tubers form along its root system, and just one plant can produce several hundred to several thousand tubers during a single growing season. With its deep, spreading roots, it's not surprising that many people consider it to be a weed rather than a food source.

But for people who do eat those tiny tubers, tiger nuts are healthy in a variety of forms. People in the Valencia region of Spain like to drink a sweet milk-like beverage called horchata de chufa (check out our recipe).

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