I bought a wee bag of these at the Lyttelton Markets last weekend. They are pink or yellow, or a blotchy combination of the two, about the size of a large marble, and a bit like a tiny potato. The guy who sold them to me could only name them as Dragon eggs, and said that they were one of the experimental vegetables bought in by the DSIR in the 70s and 80s (the reason we probably have Feijoas and (non tropical) yams.)
I would love to know what these are family and genus-wise at the very least. I have not been able to find anything online. Anyone have any idea? I'm guessing they are not a potato, as they would not have been able to be imported into the country, due to potato blight risks.
Oh, and they taste very potato ish, with a slightly different flavour. I will definitely keep some to grow in containers next season.
I'll take one tonight, post it tomorrow.
Thank you Kali- that is what they are (just googled an image)
Ullucus tuberosus of the Basellaceae, root and leaf vegetable.
Sounds like Earth Gems (trade name) or Ulluco (Ullucus tuberosus) to me. Related to NZ spinach but has tastier leaves (I think) and edible tubers. Some people find the tubers to be rather earthy tasting but I quite like them- especially steamed and doused in butter. A very underrated plant.