[Sca-cooks] Yams was Substitute for Potatoes?

Johnna Holloway johnnae at mac.com
Mon Aug 24 13:52:05 PDT 2009

Terry Decker wrote:
>> 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.
>> -- 
>> David/Cariadoc
>> www.daviddfriedman.com
> 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 Europe.
> Bear 
Yams do show up in West African Food in the Middle Ages by Lewicki. (nw 
edition CUP, 2009).
And one of the sources given is Ibn Battuta who ate them in Mali. See 
pages 49-52.


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