Saturday, December 2, 2017

Purple Power

Purple Moloki Sweet Potato

Purple Power


My favorite color as a child was purple.  My favorite has since migrated to blue, but purple still holds interest when it comes to the uncommon food item... Or the common food item that is uncommonly purple.

After making some 'yam' crostinis for Thanksgiving, and thoroughly enjoying them, I thought perhaps growing some yams would be a good thing.  We set about researching yams, and after recalling an NPR newscast about purple gnocchi, refined the search to Purple Yams.  Because purple yams would be so much more interesting and colorful than the white or orange yams commonly seen in the stores.  (We will probably also grow the red ones).


What Is A Yam?


Dioscorea alata ube
As it turns out, the recipe on NPR was for purple sweet potatoes.  Well, if we want to make that recipe, we need that sweet potato.  So, we ordered the Purple Moloki Sweet Potato starters.  I like these better for making the crostinis as the purple sweet potato varieties are reported to be dryer (and probably more crisp) than the red, yellow or white sweet potatoes.

Now, back to the yam.  Yams are starchy root crops also, but more starchy and drier still than sweet potatoes. Instead of the smooth outer skin they have a bark-like exterior.  The purple variety we were after is called 'Discorea alata 'ube'.  This particular true yam is very popular for desert making in the Philippines. 

However, seeing the ube chip recipe makes me think these would be the best candidate for the yam crostini.  In either case, these will have to be included in recipes for next year because we have to plant them this year to get anything next year.