Cilembu Sweet Potatoes
Inventory, lb : 0
Cilembu sweet potatoes are long and cylindrical with a slightly irregular shape. Their exterior skin is rough with a golden brown hue and may be speckled with petite eyes and root hairs. Their inner flesh is light brown-orange, turning a yellow-orange hue when roasted. Its most notable feature, however, is its flavor, sweet and fluffy producing a naturally occurring honey sweet syrupy glaze when roasted or baked.
Cilembu sweet potatoes are available year-round.
The Cilembu sweet potato, also known as Ubi Cilembu, Ubi Madu Cilembu, and Honey sweet potato, is botanically known as part of Ipomoea batatas and a member of the Convolvulaceae family. The Cilembu is an older variety sweet potato that has had various names throughout the years and was officially recognized under the Cilembu name in 2001 by the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture. Cilembu are celebrated above other sweet potato types for the sweet honey flavored syrup that they produce when roasted or baked. In addition to being sold as a tuber at the marketplace today they are popularly sold from street vendors as a snack food, simply roasted and wrapped in paper, and processed for use in the production of chips, jams, cakes, and syrups.
Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes such as the Cilembu provide an excellent source of beta-carotene. Additionally, they provide calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, fiber, and iron. They also have a low glycemic index making them an ideal starch for those watching their blood sugar level.
Cilembu sweet potatoes can be prepared in a manner similar to other sweet potato varieties however they are most commonly roasted or baked because of the natural honey sweet glaze they produce when prepared in this method. In the commercial marketplace processed Cilembu sweet potatoes are used to make chips, cakes, and jams. The most popular preparation method of preparing the Cilembu sweet potato is simply baked or roasted skin on, then served hot as is. Cilembu sweet potatoes can also be sliced into rounds or wedges then roasted or deep fried. Baked skin on the inner flesh of the Cilembu sweet potato can be removed and used as a filling for cakes and pastries both savory and sweet. In addition to the tubers, the young leaves of the Cilembu sweet potato plant can be used as well in soups or sautéed and paired with a spicy sambal. Popular complimentary ingredients include chili, coconut milk, palm sugar, pine leaves, smoked fish, tomato, brown sugar, butter, sweet chili sauce, taro, brown sugar, and butter. To store Cilembu sweet potatoes keep in an open and dry place well off of the ground. For best flavor use within 3 to 4 weeks before potatoes have started to sprout or develop brown spots.
The Cilembu sweet potato, originally named Nirkum, is thought to have gotten its first name as a nod to the people of the Dutch Empire which colonized Indonesia at the time. Of all the sweet potatoes grown in Indonesia, the Dutch preferred the honey sweet potato that would go on to be called Cilembu. Indonesian people referred to the Dutch as menir kumpeni, and it is thought that the sweet potato so favored by the Dutch was named Nirkum, a melding of the two words, after them. The sweet potato would go on to take on other names depending upon the village it was sold in until the early 2000’s when a push to market the potato promoting its unique honey sweetness and village of origin was made. Part of this promotional process was renaming the potato as Ubi Cilembu or Honey Sweet Cilembu. Today throughout West Java and parts of Indonesia Cilembu sweet potatoes are popularly sold from street vendors as a snack food, simply roasted and wrapped in paper.
The Ubi Cilembu is a specialty sweet potato native to the Cilembu village of Sumedang, West Java, Indonesia. Originally known as the Nirkum, the Cilembu sweet potato dates back to 1914, a time Indonesia was still under Dutch colonization. Today the Cilembu sweet potato is distributed throughout West Java and other parts of Indonesia. Additionally, it is exported to Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Thailand, and Malaysia. Cilembu sweet potatoes have a lengthy growing cycle, and the land available for growing them in Java is not enough to meet the increasing demand for this unique potato. As a result, the market has been flooded with similar looking sweet potatoes that are easier to grow sold intentionally mislabeled under the name Cilembu that do not produce the honey sweet syrup the originals are known for. This poses a threat to the Cilembu name and in time to the real Cilembu’s ability to stay in circulation.
Recipes that include Cilembu Sweet Potatoes. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Love & Lemons||Sweet Potato Pomegranate Crostini|
|Cooking Tackle||Oven Roasted Honey Sweet Potato|
|The Fat Kid Inside||Sweet Potato Churros|
|Love & Lemons||Sweet Potato Surprise|