Yams were harmed in the writing of this post

garnet yams
Photo: Jim Rosenau

Jim Rosenau reports from the Berkeley Bowl vegetable section:

Those displaced New Englanders among us are heard to say they miss having “real” seasons.  If easily discerned seasons are such a big deal,  go ahead and move back to the Old Country — and take your boiled dinner recipe with you when you shut the door! The settled among us recognize our own sort of seasons and the last few days of honest sub-freezing temps have been an arctic blast from the past for me.

One of the most reliable visual signs of our tilted orbit in our temperate climate, for me, is the changing produce display at the Berkeley Bowl. Right now the Fuyu persimmons are just about gone, which means Winter has really set in. But there is a fairly rare treat in store in the tuber department. Garnet yams, which I used to take for granted, have reappeared a week or two ago and it’s hard to know how long they will last. My informant, Javier, says that this variety is prone to disease and very few farmers are growing it any more. Scratch their skin and you’ll find brighter color than in any other variety. Cook them up against another yam or sweet potato and you’ll never go back.

Disclosure: The author of this post has no financial relationship with yam growers, the Berkeley Bowl or the Maple Syrup Council.