Wednesday, September 16, 2015

2015 Farm Share Week 17

Hello Everyone,

This week you will find in your shares:

Wed. Sept. 16 and Sat. Sept. 19
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Acorn Squash
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Poblano Pepper (mild heat)
Recipe Idea

Vegetable Spotlight

Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas), belongs to the family Convolvulaceae (which includes the Morning Glory).  Its origin is likely between the Yucatan of Mexico and the mouth of the Orinoco River in Venezuela.  Unknown in the ancient Mediterranean world, and there is no known mention of it in the Bible.  All its known species are found in the New World; no wild sweet potato has been found elsewhere.  It seems to be exclusively an American plant, which originated in the tropics or sub tropics, where it is perennial.

Christopher Columbus reported that he was served three or four kinds at a feast given in his honor by the king of the island Saint Thomas.  He recorded the fact that bread was made from them, which he called aje bread, aje or axi was the local name given for sweet potato.  Also recorded by individuals in Columbus’ fleet in 1494 was it’s presence on Hispaniola and Yucatan.  Plants were carried back to Spain an soon planted there.  They were generally cultivated in Portugal and Italy by 1566.  

By the early 1600’s, thanks to traders, sweet potatoes made their way to Asia, where they made great use of them, even today.  They never never really took off in France, possibly because the vegetable is not quite in tune with their cuisine, which reserves sugary tastes for desert.

The countries where sweet potatoes are a staple of human consumption, are: Papua New GuineaSolomon IslandsBurundiRwanda and Uganda.

About 20,000 tons of sweet potatoes are produced annually in New Zealand, where sweet potato is known by its Māori name, kūmara. It was a staple food for Māori before European contact.

The sweet potato is not in the same family as Yams, and not closely related to the common potato either (nightshade family).

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