[Sca-cooks] Yams was Substitute for Potatoes?
t.d.decker at att.net
Mon Aug 24 12:40:38 PDT 2009
> >On Aug 23, 2009, at 11:13 PM, Solveig Throndardottir wrote:
>>>Greetings from Solveig! Potatoes are from Peru. However, there are a
>>>number of old world tubers available such as yams Dioscorea species which
>>>originated in West Africa and Asia.
>>>Your Humble Servant
>>Yes, and I fully intend to use yams in my Period cooking.
> Off hand, I can't think of any recipes in either the period European or
> Islamic corpus that use them. I don't even know if there is any evidence
> that they were used in the parts of the world from which we have
> surviving cookbooks.
> You might want to check the Rehla of Ibn Battuta for references--he
> visited both east and west Africa in the 14th century.
Columbus's journal of the first voyage (1492-93) references yams several
times, but I see no evidence of yams being prepared in Europe. I don't
recall any references in Pliny or other authors that would suggest yams were
well known in Antiquity. Since the term, yam, appears to be derived from a
West African language, it's likely that yams came to the attention of Europe
as the Portuguese expanded along the West African coast and probably were
not incorporated into the European diet.
I suspect, but have not verified, that edible yams may not grow well in
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