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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ode to the Sweet Potato Tart

So, I was at work one day and my boss/friend comes back from lunch and hands me a package and says you have to try this. Ok I said enthusiastically, knowing if she is giving it to me it's worth a try! I have seen these before, there are pictures of them all over the island. There is a big factory looking building with colorful flags outside and pictures of these things just north of our house. I figured they were some sort of sweet, possibly a cream puff type dessert. Little did I know.
See, here on Okinawa they grow sweet potatoes, beautiful bright purple sweet potatoes. And they are wonderfully SWEET! They are harvested locally and are considered a seasonal treat. These little babies are sweet potato tarts! Sweetened with a little sugar cane (also grown on the island) and whipped into submission, they pipe the creamy concoction into little cakes and package them up.
Now, the cake itself is nothing to marvel at, not very sweet, sort of like the outside "cake" part of a fig newton, only not as sweet. The filling however, is dreamy. I personally love sweet potatoes. I love to bake them and add butter, I love to make fries with them, I love to mash them at Thanksgiving, and I LOVE these tarts! They are delicious!
I give them to my son, it's a great sweet, healthy treat. The cream does have a bit of starchy, potato texture to it, but it is all part of the goodness. Kudos to the Japanese for using real ingredients and making a naturally sweet potato the star of this show! I love it here...and don't knock it till you try it!

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