Monday, August 22, 2011

Learning about vegetables in Cuenca

  See info in post on Aug 15, for discussion.
The purple and white vegetable is...
Two people thought it looks like a Peruvian potato which is indeed, well, purple.  However, a friend who was born and raised in Cuenca, said the photo looks like a type of yuca.  She did not see the actual vegetable in person so I"m leaning more toward potato, myself because the texture seemed between that of a potato and the fibrous, almost stringy nature of yuca.  Perhaps shredding it in a food processor helped with the tougher texture.

Len brought home a different vegetable that was small and dark colored on the outside like a beet but shaped longer with a little pointed tip like a yam.  It was a very deep "eggplant" color of purple but when I peeled it, it was a palest buttery color inside.  It was pretty tough but not fibrous/stringy.  It seemed to be some sort of yam.  Its in today's soup so I don't know the texture or taste yet.

Len also brought home a camote, a different type of yam, not very pretty - kind of like a knobby brown potato, but it too is delicious when cooked.  I'll post pictures next time he brings those home.  I forgot before peeling them yesterday.  {:-D  I was hungry!

I'm working on the next post which is about quilting and some of the things that arise in Cuenca for people who sew.
Have a marvelous Monday!
A reader, Carol N, shared a great link about sweet potatoes and yams.  Sweet potatoes go back in South American culture 5000 years! I'm going out to hunt for some sweet potatoes and yams.  kumar is the Quechua word for sweet potato while ipomoea batata is the word in Espanol.
The word for yam in Espanol is camote. For more info go to
Thanks for the great resource and info, Carol.


  1. Sharon,

    Thanks for sharing your experiences in Cuenca. You have been very insightful into the challenges that those of us with food allergies/intolerances face. My husband and I are planning a visit in Oct. and if all goes well will be moving to Ecuador soon. Hopefully, we can compare GF recipes.



  2. Love your column!

  3. Hi Sharon... seeing your mystery veggies reminded me of a blog post I read a while back with different types of yams... and even their history... they come from South America from 5000 years ago... maybe some of these is what Len's finding? These don't quite match your description.. but thought you might find it interesting...

  4. Carol N, Santa Fe NMSeptember 12, 2011 at 12:39 AM

    I was out of town after I posted the previous comment... so glad you found it helpful!

    I remember reading from an earlier post that you eat gluten free, which I've just begun (started in May) more as a way to control the carbohydrate content since I'm insulin resistant... but I've found I must have had some gluten sensitivities as well, cus I feel a lot better without wheat in my diet... of course I've made other dietary changes as well, so there may be other reasons why.... but anyway, all that to say that marksdailyapple is a wonderful website for eating the "primal" or "paleo", way... eg like our ancestors did... sounds like EC is naturally great for that. ps... have you had almond flour pancakes? they are wonderful!