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Author Topic: WANTED: Authentic Edible Air Potato (Dioscorea bulbifera)  (Read 842 times)

Caesar

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WANTED: Authentic Edible Air Potato (Dioscorea bulbifera)
« on: March 31, 2017, 01:03:35 AM »
I've looked all over for this one, and it's exceedingly hard to find. Ironically, despite legal issues in several countries, the only ones readily and openly available on the market are the ones meant to be curtailed by the laws: the toxic inedible variants.

I'm looking for true D. bulbifera, not D. alata nor D. batatas/polystachya/opposita. I'm looking to buy one, as I don't have much to trade right now. As they are meant for human consumption, I'm most emphatically NOT looking for an ornamental/toxic variety. From what I've gathered, there are edible types that still have a degree of toxicity (still perfectly edible, but they must be cooked thoroughly) as well as some that have reduced toxicity (presumably requiring less cooking time, and possibly tasting better). The less toxic / more edible it is, the better. I've looked for it on eBay, and the few times I see some that seem edible (usually from Thailand) I find myself doubting a little (due to the low-key descriptions), or wondering if they're the low-quality edible types. Is there anyone here growing it? Anyone able and willing to send me some bulbils for growing?

While I'm asking, how do you prepare it? Peeling, chopping, boiling times, etc.? And is there any particularly important growing/harvesting information to know? Is it like some yams, where unripe tubers could be toxic? (in which case, how can you tell when to harvest?)

Chandramohan

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Re: WANTED: Authentic Edible Air Potato (Dioscorea bulbifera)
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2017, 07:56:13 PM »
Hello Caesar, I have edible Dioscorea bulbifera in my farm. I will be able to send you only after I reach India on may 18th.

00christian00

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Re: WANTED: Authentic Edible Air Potato (Dioscorea bulbifera)
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2017, 02:58:59 AM »
Interested too. Can these grow indoor?

Caesar

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Re: WANTED: Authentic Edible Air Potato (Dioscorea bulbifera)
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2017, 10:22:41 PM »
Hello Caesar, I have edible Dioscorea bulbifera in my farm. I will be able to send you only after I reach India on may 18th.

PM sent. How are the growing conditions for this species? (Like other yams?) And how do you prepare them for cooking? Is it like typical yams (peel them, cut them up, average boiling time), or is it different somehow? Is the underground tuber also edible, or just the bulbils?

TravelingFriend

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Re: WANTED: Authentic Edible Air Potato (Dioscorea bulbifera)
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2017, 12:30:02 AM »
We grow ube. May be a piece to share, and its one to look for. Juicy purple with.  Bit of white flesh.

Chandramohan

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Re: WANTED: Authentic Edible Air Potato (Dioscorea bulbifera)
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2017, 08:52:02 PM »
Christiano, You cannot grow it indoors, it needs lot of sun.

Caesar, growing conditions are like other yams, requires lot of sunlight. They cook like potatoes, but has a much better flavour. We use them instead of potatoes. You can use both the bulbils as well as the tuber, In fact the tubers are more delicious. We normally do not dig up the tubers, they sprout back every spring. In fact they become bigger and bigger as the years go by.

Caesar

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Re: WANTED: Authentic Edible Air Potato (Dioscorea bulbifera)
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2017, 03:29:27 PM »
We grow ube. May be a piece to share, and its one to look for. Juicy purple with.  Bit of white flesh.

Ube? As in Purple D. alata? I'm interested, but not quite yet. I'm still shifting things around to make room for some new plants.


Christiano, You cannot grow it indoors, it needs lot of sun.

Caesar, growing conditions are like other yams, requires lot of sunlight. They cook like potatoes, but has a much better flavour. We use them instead of potatoes. You can use both the bulbils as well as the tuber, In fact the tubers are more delicious. We normally do not dig up the tubers, they sprout back every spring. In fact they become bigger and bigger as the years go by.

That sounds excellent! I dug up some further information (https://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/CAT87208471/PDF), and apparently D. bulbifera from India is one of the better varieties, being tops for taste, and only out-produced by a New Caledonian variant (which under-produces the in-ground tuber).

Also, D. bulbifera seems absent from the list of prohibited plants in Puerto Rico. I wonder what happened to the collection at Mayaguez? I was under the impression that they'd gotten rid of it. I know of no one growing it here.

*Edit: This is the Law on exotic species in Puerto Rico. Prohibited Plants are on page 83: https://drna.pr.gov/permisos/documentacion/formularios/reglamento_silvestre_final_2junio2003.pdf
« Last Edit: April 19, 2017, 03:32:32 PM by Caesar »

 

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