October 8, 2010
Yama Imo, the mysterious “mountain potato” of Japan, has the most exotic texture of any food I know. Pure white, it has a bite, a crunch, a crispness that quickly dissolves into a creamy paste and then, while you are chewing, breaks down again, becoming stickier and stickier until it is pure slime. This transformation never fails to entertain and delight me, and I love to carve it into sticks and eat it for breakfast, with umaboshi (the plum paste of Japan, for which it has a great affinity), or simply drizzle it with soy sauce. It creates a little circus of the mouth, the perfect way to start any day.
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