Freshwater yam, also known as Dioscorea alata, is a species of yam that is commonly grown for its edible tubers. It belongs to the Dioscoreaceae family and is native to Southeast Asia. Freshwater yam is widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions around the world.
Here are some key characteristics and information about freshwater yam:
Appearance: Freshwater yam has a vine-like growth habit with heart-shaped leaves. The tubers can vary in size and shape, but they are generally elongated and have a rough, brown outer skin.
Cultivation: Freshwater yam requires a warm and humid climate to grow well. It prefers well-drained soils and can be cultivated in both upland and lowland areas. The plant is propagated by planting tubers or by using vine cuttings.
Nutritional Value: Freshwater yam is a starchy root crop and is a good source of carbohydrates. It also contains dietary fiber, vitamins (such as vitamin C and some B vitamins), and minerals (including potassium, manganese, and copper). The specific nutrient content may vary depending on the variety and growing conditions.
Culinary Uses: The tubers of freshwater yam are cooked and consumed as a food source. They can be boiled, steamed, roasted, or fried. Freshwater yam is used in various cuisines and can be used in dishes such as soups, stews, curries, and stir-fries. The texture of the cooked yam is soft and slightly slimy, and it has a mildly sweet taste.
It is typically used to make Ikokore (Water Yam Porridge) also known as Ifokore, a Nigerian dish from Ijebu, Ogun state made with Water Yam as opposed to the classic Yam Porridge made from White Yam. It is a one-pot meal that is savory and best enjoyed with a lot of protein.
Ikokore Recipe – Recipe by Sisi Jemimah