Batata Recipes and Easy Guide to this Sweet Root Vegetable
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New to Batata? Start here:
What is batata?
Batata is a very popular root vegetable in the Dominican Republic, and is how sweet potatoes are locally-known.
It is one of the most popular ingredients in our cuisine and throughout the Caribbean.
Unlike the orange-fleshed type of sweet potato common in the United States, Dominican batata has a purplish peel and a white flesh that turns greenish to dark green once exposed to air or boiled.
Picture of batata
Names for batata
Other names for sweet potato in the Spanish-speaking world are camote (Mexico, Central America, Peru, and Chile) from the Nahuatl camotli. Elsewhere (Cuba, Spain, and Uruguay) it is boniato. In English, the name for Dominican batata is Oriental sweet potato or Japanese yam.
An interesting side-note is that one of the Quechua names for sweet potato is kumar, similar to its Polynesian name kumara, taken as possible evidence of Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact.
History of Batata
The name batata comes from the Taino and was blended with the Quechua papa to create the word patata for the common potato, but papa survives as the standard name for common potato in most of Latin America and even in some parts of Spain. So, batata: sweet potato, papa or patata: common potato.
How to select
Select batata with as smooth skins as possible, and that have no holes from bugs. Small batatas tend to be sweeter, in my experience.
Nutrition in batata
Batatas are rich in simple and complex carbohydrates, fiber, and beta-carotene. It also contains small amounts of vitamin B5, vitamin B6, and manganese, and once cooked, a vitamin C content equivalent to 25% of the daily recommended value.
How to cook batata
Batata is a very versatile ingredient and is cooked in many ways The easiest way to prepare it is to boil it, but it can also be fried, roasted, and made into a number of dishes, even desserts
- How to peel batata
Peeling batata is very easy, just peel with a potato peeler or paring knife as you would potatoes.
- How to boil batata
Batata can be boiled in salted water for a quick, easy side dish.
- How to fry batata
We have a recipe to teach you how to fry batata, it's a delectable side dish, snack, or appetizer.
- How to roast batata
Traditionally, batata was roasted under a bed of hot ashes, which cooked it over very low heat for a long time. The result is a smoky, lightly spicy, and sweetish side dish.