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Now for yams [Was: Edibility of ornamental Ipomoea batatas?]

Phred ppnerkDELETETHIS at yahoo.com
Tue Dec 7 10:04:01 EST 2004

In article <2004Dec6.140130.25883 at jarvis.cs.toronto.edu>, bae at cs.toronto.no-uce.edu wrote:
>In article <31duhtF378em1U1 at individual.net>,
>Phred <ppnerkDELETETHIS at yahoo.com> wrote:
>>One of the local supermarkets has recently been flogging another type 
>>of yam and, judging by how clean the things are, I suspect they might 
>>actually be edible aerial tubers in this case.  Pale buff skin and 
>>pure white flesh with even a suggestion of translucence.  The texture 
>>is light and crisp -- rather "refreshing" eaten raw, but bugger all 
>>flavour.  (Rather like the tubers of _Pachyrhizus tuberosa_ in fact.)
>Could be jicama, P. erosus, which is in the Fabaceae, or maybe P.erosus
>is really P.tuberosus, with the error propagated around the web.  At any
>rate it's a popular vegetable in Mexico and adjacent parts of the US and
>answers this description, especially if it's sort of vertically flattened.
>Recently it's become popular as a salad ingredient in California new
>cuisine, so the yuppies are creating a demand for it, and it's in all the
>supermarkets here.

Yeah.  They are "sort of vertically flattened", so maybe they are as 
you suggest.  I've only eaten _P. tuberosa_ tubers dug out of a local 
yard, and they were pretty dirty. :-)  So I rather assumed these 
really clean things from the supermarket must have been an aerial 
organ, and we had been discussing _Dioscorea_ "bulbils" around the 
smoko table not long before.  (In fact a colleague had brought some in 
for us to try -- from a form known to be edible of course. 8-)

>There seem to be a lot of Dioscorea yam cultivars.  I don't know if they 
>are all D.batatas.  There are a lot of people in Toronto from the West
>Indies and Central America, and the supermarkets carry yams of many types
>and colors.  All the ones I've seem have been sort of rough and shaggy,
>not smooth as you describe.  There are probably culinary differences since
>stores normally carry several kinds if they carry any.

Cheers, Phred.

ppnerkDELETE at THISyahoo.com.INVALID

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