Purple potatoes

A little over a year ago, I wrote a blog post that mentioned a purple potato salad I had found sold as a dessert item in a supermarket just outside of Tokyo. (See it here.) A little over a month ago, a reader posted a comment asking where he could buy the purple potatoes themselves in Japan.

Ever since then, I’ve had my eye peeled for murasaki imo, as the colorful spuds are called, every time I set foot in a grocery store’s produce section. But I had no luck.

Then, a wise person suggested that I try the basement food halls of the Mitsukoshi Department store in Ginza. Sure enough, there was a specialty produce corner on floor B3 where murasaki imo were avaiable. They were labeled as produce of Chiba Prefecture.

At 100 yen for 100 grams, these are probably the most expensive potatoes I have ever purchased. The two smallest ones, shown here, cost me a total of 403 yen (about U.S.$5.25 or four euros).

If I had been feeling ambitious as well as extravagant, I could have used them to make a colorful bisque, but instead I simply baked them to serve as a side dish to meat.

I have to report that the main pleasure this vegetable offered was visual. The flavor wasn’t too different from that of an ordinary sweet potato. (If anything, it was blander.) I had to load it up with butter, honey and a generous dusting of cinnamon to make it satisfactorily interesting.

Still, if you are having guests over, murasaki imo might make an interesting conversation piece, especially if you serve them in their skins so that the purple color isn’t revealed until your guests cut into them.

Finally, just for the record, I should mention that you can also buy murasaki imo powder online in Japan through sites including Amazon and Rakuten.

Tags: , , , ,

2 Responses to “Purple potatoes”

  1. Robert-Gilles Martineau Says:

    My wife’s family grow them in their garden in Shizuoka1
    Poor Tokyoites!

  2. Locohama Says:

    “a generous dusting of cinnamon” lol Sound like a foodie!
    Yeah, i found nothing remarkable about the taste either. They just suck me in cause they’re purple, my fave color!
    Nice post! And happy new years Tom!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: