Yacon plants grow all year in frost free regions of the mountains and take approximately six to seven months to reach maturity. When the plant flowers, it grows rhizomes that are attached to large tubers weighing upwards of two pounds each. The tuberous root, known locally as Peruvian ground apple, looks and tastes very similar to sweet potatoes. When the roots are ready for harvest, they are collected and sent to be cleaned thoroughly before being peeled. All the of the skin must be removed or the taste of the end product can be altered negatively. The peeled roots are then chopped up into small pieces, dried at low temperatures for about eight hours, milled and sifted into a fine powder.
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Peru borders Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, the Pacific Ocean and covers almost half a million square miles of western South America. The climate can range from arid on the coastal regions to tropical in the Amazon and is home to over 21,00 species of plants and animals, making Peru extremely biodiverse.