Konnyaku (こんにゃく) is a rubbery and somewhat flavorless food that appears in certain Japanese dishes. It has a consistency that’s like a cross between a rubber sole and Jell-O that gives your teeth a funny sensation when you bite into it. I was eating it the other day in a bowl of oden (おでん – a type of Japanese stew) and it occurred to me that I had no idea what it was. Is it a fish? Is it some kind of vegetable pulp or gelatinized seaweed? It turns out that konnyaku is a jelly made from a type of potato. The potato in question is known in English as konjac (its scientific name is amorphallus konjac – definitely doesn’t sound like something you want to eat). Konnyaku is a taro-like potato that grows in tropical and sub-tropical Asia. Almost all of Japan’s konnyaku comes from the northern Kanto region and Gunma Prefecture in particular. Other colorful names for the potato are devil’s tongue, voodoo lily, elephant foot and snake palm.