Malanga 101: What is Malanga?


Malanga, also known as yautía or cocoyam, is a starchy root vegetable that is commonly used in South American, African, and Caribbean cuisine. Malanga has a rough, hairy outer skin, with a crisp, white or pink flesh. Once prepared, Malanga’s earthy flavor can be likened to that of a nut, versus the mild flavor of a potato or yam. The taste is unlike most tubers or roots, but its texture is similar to that of a yuca, which makes Malanga versatile enough to be prepared using a variety of cooking methods, such as baked, mashed, boiled, or fried.


Malanga is part of the Aracere species and is often confused with Taro, a similar root vegetable. While they are in the same family, Malanga belongs to the genus Xanthosoma and taro belongs to the genus Colocasia. They are related, but not the same thing. It is easy to tell them apart because Taro is more bulb-shaped, has a smoother and lighter colored skin, and the flesh inside is has many tiny pinkish-purplish dots.


Malanga is nutrient-dense, low in fat, and contains fiber. Malanga also provides vitamin C, riboflavin, thiamine, and iron.

Malanga must be cooked before it can be consumed. Just like other members of the Aracere species, it can’t be eaten raw because it contains naturally calcium oxalate. However, cooking and steeping them in water eliminates the chemical.


Traditionally, Malanga can take up to half an hour to peel, prepare and cook. Here at MIC Food® we are helping chefs, restaurants, industrial kitchens, retail brands, delis, and others in the food industry rethink their menus and increase appeal among ethnic and mainstream consumers alike. We provide variety of products that come peeled and cut, ready-to-heat and serve saving you hours of prep time so you can focus on what matters the most: making every meal memorable.

Ask Our Chef about how you can incorporate yuca into your menu!

Hungry for more? Check out our recipe library and see for yourself how versatile Malanga is.

Related Articles: What Are Root Vegetables?, Yuca 101, Boniato 101



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