Bohol Ubi Kinampay, Purple Yam
Also known as purple yam, the kinampay or ubi kinampay is a special variety of tuber, found especially in the area of Bohol, on Panglao island. Originally from Spain, it has become a typical product in the Philippines, where it is considered sacred: There is a traditional story saying that, during a famine, the population of the island was saved by this tuber; for this reason the inhabitants consider it a highly estimated god sent gift. It has even become a symbol of the population itself, which managed to survive this hardship.
It is a climbing plant which produces tubers externally, as well as, and especially, underground, where they have the function of roots of the plant and can weigh up to 6 kg. They have an irregular shape and a rough skin. The inside of the tuber is purple. It is seeded in May, and the harvest is in January, during which there is also a yearly festival dedicated to the product.
The tuber, which is rich in vitamins, calcium, proteins and, especially, water (70% of the composition), has a sweet flavor thanks to elevated concentrations of glucose, and is often used to give additional flavor to the typical meat dishes of the area. The demand for products made from this tuber has grown over time, especially abroad: ubi kinampay is sold fresh, cut into cubes, as syrup, puree or powdered. Among the most popular recipes are ones for sweets, especially ice cream. In reality, though, the tuber is becoming rarer on the island of Panglao, also due to the real estate market, which has led to the extinction of a great part of the plantations and spontaneously growing plants, because of the development of tourism in the area.