Thursday, December 24, 2009
These yams (Dioscorea alata) are known locally as ube. Their flesh is bright purple, and they are delicious.
Eaten like this, roasted (actually whacked into a microwave oven for 3-4 minutes) and slathered with butter, salt, and pepper, they easily beat a roast potato.
I haven't quite worked out yams; they are very similar to Camote or Colibri (Ipomaea batatas) sweet potatoes, and I sometimes suspect that Lindo, who sells them in town from his tiny shop, mixes them up. Some varieties may not be purple at all.
Ube has very thick skin, so I eat it like an avocado, scooping out the purple flesh. It's a very coarse flesh, and very chewy, but I like it that way.
It also makes a wonderful and colourful flavouring for ice cream and cakes. It's one of the most popular flavours here, and goes well with orange mango ice cream when it's slapped into a cone by the local vendor.