- Publish Date
- Wednesday, 7 December 2022, 2:13PM
Ah, the humble kūmara. The sturdy root vegetable that is proof of our Polynesian forebears’ epic voyages and that has nurtured generations of Kiwis.
But what about kūmara that are less than humble?
What about a kūmara that anyone would be proud of, that impresses men and women alike with its hearty appearance?
What about this big fella?
The photo was shared Pak’nSave’s Westgate branch - and as you'd expect it quickly went viral.
Some loved it for its muscular appearance, with one user claiming it was “looking all swole asf”.
Others praised it as sharing similarities with popular characters from fiction, with one person saying it was a “super saiyan Vegeta…BLE”.
But others liked it for different reasons, praising its “girth” and “veiny” appearance, with one person saying: “That kūmara better settle down”.
These enthusiastic root vegetable fans flooded the page with comments praising the unusual item, often recommending it to their friends.
One brave Kiwi even claimed they could “swallow it whole”.
Seems ambitious but alright, pics or it didn't happen.
The Herald then performed a risky Google search, going in-depth to find more information on these unusual vegetables.
They appear regularly in the wild, in sweet potato varieties found across the world, and often inspire the same wonder in grocery shoppers.
Turns out the ‘veins’ are just fibrous roots and are safe to eat - according to the suspiciously named Eat or Toss website.
“Normally, the plant starts out with one kind of root and then ultimately develops a combination of fibrous roots, which go out in search of water and nutrients, and storage roots, which swell and become the sweet potatoes we eat. In a case like this, some fibrous roots appear to be clinging to the surface of a storage root,” the site claimed.
“Because they are attached to the storage root, they probably aren’t doing much in the way of searching for water and nutrients, but they’re still sporting a fibrous look. Weird!”
This article was first published by the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.
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