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Oct 18, 2012 03:26 AM

Purple potatoes / murasaki imo

Ever since I went to Okinawa a few years ago and fell in love with the murasaki imo, I've realized I haven't been able to find the actual potatoes on the mainland. I've seen desserts and other sweets *using* murasaki imo, but I've never actually seen the potatoes themselves for sale. I saw a pamphlet in Kobe Airport that noted murasaki imo was one of the items prohibited by law to bring back to the mainland (!!) because of pest issues... but is there really no way to get them?! :(

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  1. Murasaki imo is one of the standard imo variety in Kagoshima, so one can find it abundant in Kyushu. Here in Hiroshima, I've had it included in my grab bag from the CSA (community supported agriculture) farm, so it does grow locally in Honshu as well. I'm pretty sure I've seen it at the markets around town as well. I guess you would have to be down around these parts where imo farming is more prominent.

    2 Replies
    1. re: E Eto

      I also wanted to include the many varieties of satsuma-imo that's available in Kagoshima. Here are a few at the market I visited last weekend. The murasaki imo is in the box on the top row, second from the right.

      1. re: E Eto

        So lucky you have so many varieties!

        And the day after I posted this, my local grocery had murasaki imo in stock...! What luck! Guess it must be luck of the draw? (Or a seasonal thing?)

    2. Every couple weeks, The Tenmaya and Takashimaya near me have food festivals from various parts of Japan, the Hokkaido one just passed through and there has been an Okinawan one as well, and they often have produce from the area, so that might also be possible in the future if you don't have luck at the store near you.

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