Pacaya Palm
Inflorescences [Chamaedorea tepijilote and similar species]

This palm is widely sold as a decorative "parlor palm" because it is slow growing and tolerates shade. The unopened male inflorescence are harvested in Central America and Mexico for sale in local markets as a luxury vegetable. They are also put up commercially in jars for export to the US where they can be found in markets serving Central American and Mexican communities.

The flower clusters, which are boiled briefly before eating, have been compared to asparagus in taste and texture, however this is just plain wrong - they most resemble, in color, appearance, taste, and texture, baby corn. They can be served alone as a vegetable but often appear with scrambled eggs or other dishes where they are lightly fried. Some complain they are very bitter, but in my experience they are no more bitter than baby corn.

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