White Yam That Has Intrigued Us

Zac B. Sarian and the white yam in a Taiwan market.
Zac B. Sarian and the white yam in a Taiwan market.
T
The white yam in these photos that we took in a Taiwan market has intrigued us no end. The tubers are so straight and without any damage. They look so fresh and inviting to cook. We have been wondering that if it is grown in the ground, the tubers would not be so straight and unblemished. Could it be that they were grown in plastic tubes? No one could tell us for sure. No one in the market could tell us where in Taiwan is it grown. And we could not get the exact botanic name. Of course, we were also wondering if this variety could be grown in the Philippines. Perhaps some of our readers can tell us more about this white yam. Is there any one out there that could enlighten us?

White yam in a Taiwan market.
White yam in a Taiwan market.
Tubers cut into two.
Tubers cut into two.

Now, Dimples has helped us through her 2 comments. She says the botanic name of the white yam in Japan is Dioscorea japonica while the white yam in Taiwan is Dioscorea polystachya. They call Dioscorea japonica Nagaimo in Japan.

Now, how do they produce those unblemished roots (tubers)? The tubers are so straight and cylindrical. Someone out there might be able to help us.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

7 thoughts on “White Yam That Has Intrigued Us

  1. In Ilocano, if I’m not mistaken, this is called “kamangeg” which just usually grows in the wild (i.e. not cultivated)…This is harvested during rainy season by means of digging the ground up to several feet (some even say can reach up to depth of full height of a person!)

        1. Not the same as tugui. The tugui is very short and not as tender. I should know. I used to grow tugui. There are tugui varieties from Bicol with fan-like form of the roots.

  2. Dioscoreae Oppositae – Nagaimo in Japanese, sold as Chinese white yam in specialty Asian markets in English speaking countries.

      1. Apologies Dr Zac – apparently the Japanese white yam is Dioscorea japonica and the Taiwan/Chinese white yam is Dioscorea polystachya – wonder if our local Tugi Dioscorea esculenta is much more closely related to these two or to Discorea alata (ube). I mean it’s just the Bohol variety of ube that is quite purple – some types are almost totally white or just have a small purplish core. I mean Tugi tubers like the Chinese and Japanese native white yam tubers tend to grow straight as compared to ube which grow to some interestingly odd shapes?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.