What is this? It’s a purple yam (Dioscorea alata).
- Mostly used in sweet dishes, in this country you can buy it in jars marked ‘Ube’ in ethnic shops.
- Ube is what they call it in the Phillipines. It can be used as a sweet spread.
- The sweet spread tastes like granular condensed milk mixed with chestnuts.
- Purple yams can be fried, boiled or baked. Keep the skin on when boiling, then peel off afterwards.
- It can be used as a cure for leprosy, gonorrhea and hemorrhoids
- Yam is an important tuber in African cuisine. In Nigeria, there is even a religious festival involving yam. It can be stored for months.
- It’s important not to confuse purple yam with purple sweet potato or purple potato. Americans often call ‘soft’ sweet potatoes ‘yams’.
The fabric used here in the background is called ‘Letesi’ or German Print. I bought it in Botswana, where it is used for traditional print dresses. It is an oiled cotton made in South Africa, using copper etched patterned rolls. The best known trademark is ‘Three Cats’.