Japanese: 蒟蒻/菎蒻; こんにゃく; konnyaku
Korean: 곤약; gonyak
It is native to warm subtropical to tropical eastern Asia, from Japan and China south to Indonesia (USDA hardiness Zone 6-11). It is a perennial plant, growing from a large corm up to 25 cm (10 in) in diameter. The single leaf is up to 1.3 m (4 ft) across, bipinnate, and divided into numerous leaflets. The flowers are produced on a spathe enclosed by a dark purple spadix up to 55 cm (22 in) long.
The food made from the corm of this plant is widely known in English by its Japanese name, konnyaku (yam cake), being cooked and consumed primarily in Japan. The two basic types of cake are white and black. Noodles are made from konnyaku, known as shirataki.
Konjac can be made as many food, and also be used for facial massage accessories which are currently popular in Korea and gaining popularity in the West. Most commonly this is through the use of a konjac sponge, which is unique in that it can be used on sensitive skin that may become easily irritated with more common exfoliating tools (such as a loofah or washcloth).
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