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Kita Akari Potatoes
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Kita Akari potatoes have a brown, burlap-hued skin. The skin may be dry and flaky in texture. Kita Akari potatoes are round to oblong in shape, and are of medium size, each weighing around 5 ounces. Kita Akari potatoes are categorized as a starchy potato. Their interior flesh is bright yellow in color, and when cooked, they have a soft, fluffy texture and a distinctly sweet taste.
Kita Akari potatoes are available year-round, with a peak season in the fall.
Kita Akari potatoes are botanically known as Solanum tuberosum. Today they are especially popular in Japan because they can easily be prepared in a microwave oven.
Kita Akari potatoes are rich in vitamin C and carotenoids, the naturally-ocurring phytonutrients which have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits.
Kita Akari potatoes are most often enjoyed in cooked preparations. They make excellent mashed potatoes, and may be boiled and used in potato salads, or eaten with butter. They are also tasty in stews, soups and curry dishes. Kita Akari potatoes are notorious for losing their structure and disintegrating, and so should be cooked quickly. Store Kita Akari potatoes wrapped in a paper bag or cardboard box, and keep them in a cool, well-ventilated place.
Until recently, the potato was thought of as a "Western" ingredient. It was not until the emergence of yoshoku, a field of Western-styled Japanese cuisine, that the use of the potato became widespread. Yoshoku dishes became extremely popular in the 1980s. Kita Akari potatoes are particularly well-suited for use in many classic yoshoku dishes, such as potato salads and potato croquettes.
Kita Akari potatoes are a Japanese hybrid found only in Japan. A relatively new breed introduced in 1987, they were developed from the Japanese danshaku potato and the Japanese tsunika potato. Cultivation of the potato as a food source in Japan only began in 1706 during a time of political uncertainty, as the potato was seen as a good source of nutrients in lean times. Today, Kita Akari potatoes are grown mostly in the northern island of Hokkaido, also known as the “potato kingdom of Japan”, as around 80% of Japan’s potato production occurs there. Like other potatoes, Kita Akari potatoes thrive in cool weather.