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Nov 28, 2010 11:48 AM

Sweet potatoes at the Union Square Greenmarket

Just before Thanksgiving last year (2009), I got some terrific sweet potatoes at the Union Sq. greenmarket. They were relatively small, misshapen and bent, and blackened on the outside (a reddish black, I seem to recall). A food photographer was making arrangements with them on the table. That was what caught my eye. When roasted, their flesh was sweet and perfumy, with a distinct aroma of rose, and hints of cardamom. They were the sweet potatoes of which dreams are made. I neglected to note which stand I was at when I got them, or what they were called. I was on the way out overladen with eggs and cheese and other produce, and they were a last second purchase. When I next went to the market in December I couldn't find them again. There's always next year I said to myself.

I went back this past Wednesday after a many-week absence from the market expressly to (a) buy a wheel of Hooligan (it's interestingly the favorite cheese of a 14-year-old I know), and (b) to track down those perfumed potatoes. I got the cheese, but couldn't spot my sweet potatoes. I've looked through lists of over a hundred varieties, but haven't found any that match my memory. Does anybody here have suggestions?

Union Square Greenmarket
Broadway and E 17th St, New York, NY 10003

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  1. Do you remember what day it was when you bought them?

    3 Replies
    1. re: scrittrice

      I'm pretty sure it was Wednesday, November 25, 2009, the day before Thanksgiving last year.

      1. re: FoodDabbler

        Yuno's Farm had great sweet potatoes last year. One of the people who used to be at Yuno's has split off and started Bodhitree Farm, and Yuno's is now Lani's Farm, and I believe both have a variety of sweet potatoes, including Japanese sweet potatoes (which tend to be less fibrous and sort of chestnut-y tasting--maybe that's what you had?) I believe Lani's is there on Monday, and Bodhitree is there on Wednesday and Friday.

    2. I haven't had them, but I'm pretty sure I spotted some last Monday, quite some similar to what you describe. I think they were murasaki (Japanese) sweet potatoes.

      What color was the flesh?

      1 Reply
      1. re: loratliff

        My memory is that it was orange, but not vividly so. I might be misremembering, though. Are not murasakis purple-fleshed? If so, they were not the ones I had. Still, which vendor carried them, do you know?