Oca tuber vegetable proves surprise best-seller for Ipswich seed firm

Oca tubers.

Oca tubers. - Credit: Archant

A tuber vegetable widely cultivated in the Andes has proved a surprise best-seller for an Ipswich seed firm.

Oca leaves.

Oca leaves. - Credit: Archant

Thompson & Morgan believes this is due to the health properties of the oca, which can be eaten raw, or cooked in similar ways to potatoes, and also has shamrock-shaped leaves which can be used in salads.

“We think that people are buying oca in response to more information being available about it, said commercial director Paul Hansord.

“Oca is easy-to-grow and nutritious and, thanks to some good press recently, it seems to be increasingly appealing to health-conscious gardeners and foodies alike.”

The seed firm’s trials showed the perennial plant performed well in the UK climate and did not suffer from blight or any noticeable pests.

The vegetable is cultivated extensively in the Andes where it is second only to the potato as the most widely-grown root vegetable.