Friday, May 6, 2011


Yampy Bin, C-Town, Inwood
I came across these little fellas in a bin close to the floor in the produce aisle of the Inwood C-Town (I do a lot of shopping there for whatever I can't get at the Farmer's Market or the CSA). The Inwood C-Town has a pretty good selection of vegetables and tubers for Caribbean cuisine. I'd just started experimenting with yams and sweet potatoes. "Yampy" sounded like a cute yam to me so I decided to see what I could do with them.

Knowing that just about anything works fine in a tagine (except for unsliced kumquats) I peeled (somebody went all out waxing these things) and sliced them up and added them in. 

Raw yampi are described as mucilaginous which is not how I want to think of any food, especially during allergy season. I'd prefer to say they are slippery when peeled (there's a title for an album). Thankfully, this slipperiness cooks away, and in the case of a tagine, you are left with something like a boiled potato except yampis are even less tasteful. They do do a good job of taking on the taste of the food around them and are a nice change up texturally. 

If you come across them, why not give them a try? Look for Yampy, Yampi, Cushcush, Indian yam, napi, Yampie (Jamaica), Maona (Peru), Mapuey (Puerto Rico), Aja (Cuba); Cara doce (Brazil) or if you want to get scientific,  Dioscorea trifida.