The scientific name of sweet potato is Ipomoea batatas. Though sweet potato is often labeled as yam yet it doesn’t belong to yam family. It is also not closely related common potato. The name ‘yam’ was given after the variety of sweet potato was introduced into the United States in the mid-20th century so as to distinguish it from the white-fleshed sweet potato to which most people were accustomed. In the following article we will be discussing about the names of sweet potato. So, read on to discover the other names of sweet potatoes.
When we look into the history, Christopher Columbus on his voyage to West Indies discovered various new foods which he brought back to Spain. In fact, sweet potato was one among his ship’s treasures. They were the first Europeans to taste sweet potato. Later on, explorers discovered different varieties under an assortment of local names. However, the name was the indigenous Taino name of batata. But later on this name of sweet potato was changed to the similar name for another vegetable – the ordinary potato which causes confusion.
Regarding the names of sweet potatoes, the people of Spain took the Taino name batata and they combined or mixed it with the Quechau word for potato, papa and they make the word patata for the common potato. The other sweet potato names in the countries like Mexico & Central America is Nahuatl, a name derived from camote. However, in Peru, the Quechau name for the kind of sweet potato is ‘kumar’ which is strikingly similar to name ‘kumara’ in Polynesia.
Different countries of the world called sweet potato by different names. The names of sweet potato in Spain include batata, boniato & camote. As mentioned above in the country like Peru it’s called as Kumar however kumara is Polynesian name of sweet potato. In Eastern Africa, sweet potato is called as cilera abana,''protector of the children''. In Chinese, it is named as kara-imo, in South Africa, it’s called as Ubhatata and satsuma-imo is Japanese potato. In the United States, "Jewel," "Garnet," and "Beauregard" are among the most popular varieties.
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