Journeys of the taste buds Ep. 6: yammy Yams

I viaggi delle papille Ep.6: yammy Yams

You know those gruff, unapproachable types, to whom you would not give 2 lire? We have described the Yam to you in essence. 

Its gnarled and brown appearance, with small, thin, hair-like roots that come off easily, do not make it a very pleasing tuber. But if you can get over its somewhat whimsical looks, you might fall in love with its flavor.

Because you know, in the end it is always a ... "make love with flavor". 

Traveling with a tuber

Yam grows abundantly in tropical areas: from Mexico to Texas, from central Africa to central China; but it is also well cultivated in the Caribbean and South America. However, 95% of world production comes from Africa, and in particular from Ethiopia and Nigeria, where it represents one of the basic foods (due to its high starch content). 

And that's where we discovered this yammy (tasty) tuber. At first we confused it with the sweet potato. Then they explained to us that: a true yam contains much more starch than a sweet potato, it has a milder sweetness that becomes only slightly more pronounced when the root is cooked. It can reach over six feet in length and, on rare occasions, weigh over 150 pounds. 

It's yammy yammy time

In the Nigerian tradition, women process yam together with porridge, cutting it into cubes and slowly stewed with tomatoes, peanuts, vegetables and spices. In Ethiopia, however, it is boiled and then transformed into Fufu, one of West Africa's most iconic dishes, a kind of thick cream that accompanies stewed meat and vegetables.