Friday, August 10, 2012

Sweet potatos

My Japanese... or rather Okinawa Sweet Potatoes have arrived.

But now what to do with them? Its too cold and wet to plant them in the ground now. (Still Winter here). They'll likely rot in the ground or get eaten by insects if I plant them now.

So I have to keep them in storage until Spring - September/October. That's over  a month away.

The seller recommended storing them in vermiculite for the winter.

Another thing to note is that – apparently – Japanese sweet potatoes called Satsuma-mio or kotobuki
did not originally come from Japan but from South America. They arrived in Japan only in the 15th century and the Japanese have happily claimed them as their own.

There are two varieties. The Okinawa and the normal Japanese sweet potato. The Okinawa also know as the Hawaiian has tan skin and a purple flesh. It is supposed to be sweeter and more packed with vitamins than the normal variety.

The Japanese sweet potato has purple skin and white flesh – turning golden when cooked.
Both are very small in size (the size of a baby’s arm) and incredibly tasty. They taste like chestnuts. And have an extremely high content of anti0xidents, vitamins and anti-cancer nutrients. My problems with irritable bowl syndrome were cured by eating this on a daily basis + exercising + avoiding processed foods + avoiding fried food etc..

I boil or bake or roast mine (never fried) and they taste like manna from heaven.

When I lived in Singapore I could buy them - but over here in Australia, it is extremely hard to find them sold in the ordinary grocer shops.

I did find two gardening sites which sell them but they aren’t cheap.

One problem is the identification of the Japanese sweet potato which goes by other names other than the "Japanese" names – and they are sometimes referred to as yams.

Like this one -
  Sweet Potato 'Northern Star' (1 Tuber)

It looks like a cross between the Okinawan Potato and the regular Japanese sweet potato.

The latin or technical name for the Okinawa sweet potato, also known as Hawaiian Sunshine, is Ipomoea batatas.

I think the only way to do this is persistence. Just keep on searching and buying different sorts of sweet potatoes until you hit jackpot.


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