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Oh Ña Ña, What’s My Ñame?

Ñame White

This root goes by many names: ñame, nyami, tropical yam, true yam, greater yam, cush-cush, mapuey. Much like a potato, there are many ways to cook and prepare ñame, pronounced (Nyah-May), favored for its starchy texture and neutral, almost nutty flavor. It’s been around since ancient times and while Americans use the word “yam” to refer to a sweet, moist, orange-fleshed variety of sweet potato, to everyone else in the world a yam is the “tropical yam” or ñame—a firm tuber with white flesh.

J&C Tropicals also carries the ñame espino variety from Colombia.

  1. Ñame can be baked, boiled, steamed, scalloped, fried or creamed.
  2. Scrub the skin of the root with a brush under running water prior to use.
  3. Cut into cubes.
  4. Carefully cut out flesh and peel the skin.
  5. Place in a bowl of water and lemon juice until ready for use.

Store in a cool, dry area for up to 1 week.

Colombia: October – June for both Espino & Blanco
Costa Rica: July – November for Blanco

Caribbean, Central America, and South America.

  1. Excellent source of fiber
  2. Contains potassium and Vitamin C
  3. Rich in manganese and copper