Dear American farmers: Please, please grow us some of the Brazilian root vegetables known as baroa potatoes (or batatas baroas, or Peruvian parsnips) so that we may come to the farmers’ markets and purchase them. They are not available in the United States, and what a pity that is, says SuzieMae, because these babies taste like the marriage of a potato and a macadamia nut. They are very starchy, buttery, and nutty. They are quite dry, so they make excellent gnocchi. Their starchiness really comes out when you mash them. They absorb much more milk and butter than ordinary potatoes and give a great texture when mixed with a hand mixer. And they are a lovely golden color—they look like you’ve added a touch of saffron.
And if their versatility and utter deliciousness were not reason enough to grow them, think of the planet. A lot of baroa potatoes are grown in the extremely fragile high-altitude areas known as páramos in Colombia, says Sam Fujisaka, leading to substantial environmental damage. Couldn’t you just tuck a few away on your organic farm in California or New Hampshire?
Farmers of America, I thank you for your consideration.