Anno Imo Potatoes
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Anno imo potatoes are medium to large in size and are round to oval in shape with one bulbous end that tapers to a point at the opposite end. The tough, thick skin is a blend of red, orange, and brown hues and multiple, deep eyes can be found across the rough surface. Anno imo potatoes are best identified by their color changing flesh. When raw, the flesh of the Anno imo is a pale orange, but when cooked it turns into a bright yellow. Anno imo potatoes are known for their exceptionally sweet flavor and high sugar content.
Anno imo potatoes are available in the fall through winter.
Anno imo potatoes, botanically classified as Ipomoea batatas, are a variety of Japanese sweet potato and are members of the Convolvulaceae, or morning glory family. Also known as Annoimo and Anno, sweet potatoes registered and sold as Anno imo are only approved for growing in Tanegashima, Japan, which is a tiny island off the Kagoshima prefecture. In order to be sold under the Anno imo name, potatoes must be grown in Tanegashima under strict cultivation guidelines and are inspected for flavor and sugar content prior to being released to the marketplace.
Anno imo potatoes are an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin E, and potassium
Anno imo potatoes are best suited for cooked applications and can be used in both sweet and savory preparations as a result of their high sugar and starch content. They can be baked or roasted to enhance the naturally sweet flavor or sautéed and mixed into curries and grain bowls. They can also be pureed and added to soups, stews, custards, tarts, and baked goods. Anno imo potatoes pair well with honey, walnuts, lime, chives, curry, and warm spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin, and clove. They will keep for a couple of weeks when stored in a cool, dry, and dark place.
Anno imo potatoes are highly prized in Japan, and many believe that Tanegashima is the only region with the correct soil and climate that can produce the rich and sweet taste that the Anno imo is known for. In the cold winter months, food trucks and carts known as ishi-yakiimo and yaki imo can be found on the streets of Japan selling stone baked sweet potatoes such as the Anno imo.
After WWII, Japanese soldiers returning home to the tiny island of Tanegashima, Japan, brought with them sweet potatoes from Sumatra. The name, Anno, came from the Anno district in Tanegashima where local farmers experimented with growing Anno imo for the first time, and the potato was officially added to the registry of breeds in 1998. Today Anno imo potatoes can be found only in Japan.
Recipes that include Anno Imo Potatoes. One is easiest, three is harder.