Yaki Imo: the fruits of winter.



Winter in Japan is crisp, but the roasted Japanese sweet potato is one of the simple things that makes it worthwhile. The little setup above is a permanent fixture sitting next to the cash register in most convenience stores in Japan throughout winter. The black stones beneath the potatoes give them a nice slow even roast. They’re handed over in brown paper bags and eaten as is. Notice that the outside of the potatoes are slightly purple in color. The flesh is bright yellow. (In the US anyway, the outside of sweet potatoes is brown, while the flesh is a bright orange).

Sometimes deep in the countryside old Japanese obaasaans and ojiisans will sell these out of the back of a truck with a little coal burner in the back. Those ones are the best.

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