Archive for November 7th, 2011

We had our usual “twice a month wet-market day” last Saturday and I was quite excited to discover something more, something a little exotic for the palate.  Don’t get me wrong, it was really just rediscovering an old favorite called Tugi two Saturdays ago. I can’t remember the last time I ate this kind of root crop so I was delighted to see a lady from our province in Pangasinan selling it at P50.00 a kilo. I was not even sure if there is an English equivalent for it – it’s Asiatic, Chinese and lesser yam.  So it is a part of the yam family and further research says it is medicinal too. And in case you’re wondering how it looks, I found this picture on the net.

It is cooked like sweet potatoes, boiled and eaten with a sprinkling of sugar or plain. The meat is white and tastier than potatoes.  A friend says that they use it mixed with meat just like the way one uses gabi for sinigang. It is also rich in carbohydrates and a good source of vitamin B. It contains 83% starch and 12% protein.It is found in forests at low altitudes in the islands of Bataan, Cagayan, Pangasinan, Benguet and La Union.

Last Saturday, I came back to buy sweet potato (the yellow variety) and the same sales lady told me to try another root crop called Yakon. I am not really that adventurous when it comes to food that I haven’t tasted yet but this root crop intrigued me when the sales lady said that you can eat it raw by just peeling and slicing it. It really looked like unwashed sweet potato.  She assured me that it tastes good. So out of curiosity, I bought 4 pieces.  This is really the first time I’ve seen this root crop. I was surprised to find that there were lots of researches made on its medicinal value.

It is classified as vegetable but it is a root crop. It’s sweet with a crunchy bite just like that of an apple. Am I the only ignorant of this root crop? I searched Google and I found out that it can be eaten cooked or raw and some even use it in vegetable salad. It is used for hypertension and diabetes because its juice is an artificial sweetener for diabetics.

Oh, two weeks from now, I will buy fresh peanuts and will just cook it the simplest way – boiling. Writing this blog reminds me of those childhood days spent in the province when mom would stock on sweet potato and dried peanuts for rainy days.  They are better substitutes for those meaty and unhealthy burgers in fast food chains.





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