Batata (sweet potato) is one of our most ancient foods; it has been a food staple in this island since Precolumbian times. This is a very versatile and popular root vegetable.
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What is batata?
Batata is a very popular root vegetable in the Dominican Republic, and is how sweet potatoes are locally-known.
Names in Spanish
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. 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 – the common potato.
Benefits of 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 onced cooked, a vitamin C conten equivalent to 25% of the daily recommended value.