Amorgos Island Sweet Potatoes
Inventory, lb : 0
Amorgos Island sweet potatoes vary widely in size and depending on the variety, the tubers appear in shapes from slender, tapered, and straight to bulbous with curved edges. The semi-rough skin is covered in small, shallow eyes and fine root hairs, and ranges in color from light tan, brown, red, to red-purple. Underneath the thin skin, the flesh is dense, moist, firm, and also ranges in color from white, pale-yellow, orange, to pink. When cooked, Amorgos Island sweet potatoes are tender with a sweet and earthy flavor.
Amorgos Island sweet potatoes are available year-round in Greece with a peak season in the early summer and late fall.
Amorgos Island sweet potatoes, botanically classified as Ipomoea batatas, are the tubers of an herbaceous, sprawling vine that is a member of the Convolvulaceae family. Found on the Greek island of Amorgos in the Aegean Sea, Amorgos Island sweet potatoes are grown in mountainous terrain and are favored for their sweet flavor and versatility in culinary preparations. Amorgos Island is a part of a larger group of islands known as the Cyclades, which are islands shaped in a circular pattern. Relatively unknown compared to the other islands, Amorgos has recently sought to increase tourism by developing gastronomy tours focusing on its unique, local cuisine including sweet potatoes. Amorgos is also located near Naxos, which is an island famous for its potatoes and many varieties are shared between the two islands.
Amorgos Island sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and E, fiber, potassium, manganese, and some antioxidants.
Amorgos Island sweet potatoes are best suited for cooked preparations such as roasting, baking, boiling, and frying. Popularly served with fresh herbs, vegetables, and cheese, Amorgos Island sweet potatoes can be stuffed and baked, roasted with garlic and sweet flavorings such as orange juice, cooked into fries, or stuffed into phyllo triangles with cheese as a bite-sized appetizer. They can also be used in a version of the national dish known as Patatato. Typically served at special occasions such as weddings or celebratory gatherings, Patatato is a casserole consisting of beef, goat, or lamb combined with potatoes in a tomato sauce flavored with herbs and cinnamon. Amorgos Island sweet potatoes pair well with cucumbers, green beans, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, mint, red onions, garlic, eggplant, cheeses such as feta and mizithra, raisins, chickpeas, and olives. The tubers will keep 3-5 weeks when stored in a cool, dry, and dark place.
The island of Amorgos only has about two-thousand residents year-round, and the primary focus on the island is agriculture. Considered a hidden gem in the Cyclades, Amorgos has developed two major festivals, one an international diving contest and another a gastronomy week to increase tourism. Amorgos Gastronomy Days, a festival that focuses on the unique cuisine of the island, incorporates food tours, celebrity chefs, winemakers, and cooking demonstrations to attract visitors worldwide. Each year focuses on a different aspect of the island, with 2019 highlighting many of the island’s monasteries and the spiritual nature that is a part of cooking and eating. In the exploration of the monasteries, participants tour the monastery grounds, dine in an abandoned village where the food is cooked in a wood oven, and master the art of simplicity in cooking.
Sweet potatoes originated in the New World, specifically in regions of Central and South America, and were introduced to Europe via Spanish and Portuguese explorers. It is unknown when sweet potatoes arrived at the island of Amorgos, but it is believed that the tubers first came to Naxos island sometime in the early 1800s and were distributed to Amorgos via Naxos. Today Amorgos Island sweet potatoes are available on a small scale at local markets in Amorgos, Greece.