|My first-ever sweet potato harvest.|
A few months back Aunty Kan, my neighbour from across the road, gave me several cuttings from her sweet potato plant. I don't recall how she came by her plant, it was either from some cuttings or a sweet potato she planted out of curiosity. I stuck them in a styrofoam box filled with potted soil and sort of ignored it. I only fertilised it once, with blended fish guts. It grew and grew, and soon threatened to take over it's corner of my Jung-Den. It got quite difficult for me to go into the cat enclosure because it's vines were sprawling all over the pathway. So I had some of the leaves cleared. Then AFTER that, I suddenly felt I wanted to try some of the sweet potato shoots in a stir-fry. And oh boy, did it taste so gooodd.. and I regretted not eating the leaves before. Better tasting compared to kangkung actually. I hear sweet potato leaves can also be juiced and taken raw.
Another neighbour came by with her daughter, to visit my cats. She got curious about my styrofoam-dwelling sweet potatoes, and started digging with her bare hands. Imagine my delight when she unearthed this sweet bounty below:
|Purple sweet potatoes, just the way I like them.|
We left most of the plant as it is, and reburied a few smaller sweet potatoes in the hopes that they will grow bigger. This is harvesting technique is called 'bandicooting' according to Diana of Kebun Malay Kadazan Girls. Bandicoots are rat-like marsupials resident in Australia and New Guinea. I guess there is also something to learn from nature, and I am kind of amused by the word 'bandicoot' because it sounds like bandits. Sweet potato bandits, to be exact.
Then I hopped over to my neighbour's house, and she dug about in her raised bed and bequeathed me with her own yellow sweet potato. I got curious and wrapped them up in tin foil, and baked them in the oven at 170-180 degrees Celcius, alongside my gluten-free quiche, for about 40 minutes. And the result is here:
|Left: purple sweet potato. Right: yellow sweet potato.|
How do they taste like?
Well, if you are after a creamier and starchier sweet potato, the purple one ought to meet your requirements. If you prefer a sweeter, smoother texture, then the yellow sweet potato is your pal.
As for me, I love them both for what they are: delicious organic food, home-grown with love.
After that food-tasting, I immediately started 2 more boxes of sweet potatoes. ;-)