My favourite food is Sweet Potatoes. I eat one every day, and if I miss a day, I’ll double my intake the next time I eat them. I love everything about the sweet potato.
When you bite into a freshly baked sweet potato, it’s an explosion of sweet sensations of sugar with slight variations of velvety vanilla. How the sugar caramelizes into a syrup, oozing out of every crevice. The insides are so soft and the texture so smooth, comparable to a rich mousse that envelops your mouth with its starchy goodness.
There are over 1000 sweet potato varieties worldwide, with New Zealand retailers selling 4 different types on average.
During my high school exchange trip in Japan in 2019, I had the privilege and absolute pleasure of visiting various sweet potato speciality cafes ( Imagine an ice cream store with different types of sweet potato rather than flavours).
And through my vigorous research and tasting, I have found my favourite way of baking kumara ( the Maori word and Kiwi Colloquial term for sweet potato.)
Googling how to bake the perfect sweet potato will give you pages and pages of different methods claiming to be the best. From brutally cutting into the sweet potato on each side, wrapping it in wet newspaper and then tinfoil, cooking it in an air fryer, freezing it, dutchovening it… etc. etc. Honestly all too complicated in my opinion, and way too time intensive for the yaki-imo truck guys in japan to be doing… right?
And I was right! The secret to the perfectly baked sweet potato is time and low heat. This gives the starches in the sweet potato enough time to break down and caramelize without drying out the potato—no need to oil the potatoes or wrap them in foil. Instead, give them a good wash before chucking them into the oven.
- as many sweet potatoes as you feel like eating,