Yams growing in Los Sauces
Yams growing in Los Sauces

Yams (ñame in Spanish) are a relative of sweet potatoes. They need a lot of water to grow, so they’re only cultivated in Los Sauces and inside the Caldera. You can recognise a yam patch easily, because they have huge leaves shaped like elephants ears.

The root has to be boiled for hours, so you usually buy them from the supermarket already cooked.Then, traditionally, you serve them with honey or sugar as a dessert. In some places they serve them as part of the main course, with boiled, salted fish.

Cooked yam, like you buy from  the supermarket.
Cooked yam, like you buy from the supermarket.

The texture is reminiscent of chestnuts or fudge – definitely comfort food texture. But the taste is rather unexciting even with honey.

On the other hand, I think a creative cook could do something wonderful with it. Probably involving cream, sugar, rum, maybe mangoes and calories dancing the can-can on top. If I get inspired, I’ll let you know.

A slice of yam from Los Sauces with honey.
A slice of yam from Los Sauces with honey.

Posted by sheila

Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

This article has 1 Comment

  1. Ñames are, I believe, known as taro root in the Pacific. Full of oxalate crystals that have to beroken down by heavy cooking. In Gran Canaria they always go into the potaje.

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