One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A tropical American plant of the arum family that is cultivated for its edible tubers and sometimes its leaves.
Genus Xanthosoma, family Araceae: several species, in particular the fleshy-leaved malanga (X. atrovirens) of Latin America
- ‘One traditional method of preparing this soup calls for large pieces of pumpkin and diced potatoes or yautias (the starchy root of a large-leaved tropical plant whose flesh is usually yellow or creamy white).’
- ‘From America, the tannia or yautia reached West Africa, which is now the major producer.’
- ‘Species grown mainly for their tubers are: Xanthosoma sagittifolium (yellow yautia), whose small cormels around the central corm are called ‘nut eddos’ in the W. Indies; and X. violaceum (primrose malanga).’
- ‘Peel the yautia and green plantains.’
- ‘The root can be milled into flour, since yautia is very hypoallergenic food and also high in calories.’
- ‘While the meat is cooking, peel the bananas, yautia, and plantains and put them in salt water.’
Late 19th century: American Spanish, from Maya yaaj ‘wound, poison’ + té ‘mouth’ with reference to its caustic properties.
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