The sweet potato originated in the region now covered by Mexico, Ecuador and Peru. Domestication of the tuber occurred by 5000 BP (Before Present) and spread through the Greater Antilles. When Christopher Columbus came to the West Indies he found it on the islands and brought back samples to Spain.
Sweet potato was one of the main crops of the Tainos, next to cassava.
Sweet potato may be roasted or boiled. It is also baked to make bread and bun, but Jamaicans' favourite potato dish is potato pudding.Potato pudding is also recognized by the riddle "Hell a top. Hell a bottom. Hallelujah in the middle." which speaks to the traditional method of baking the pudding. In this way the pudding is baked in an iron dutch pot or dutch oven with live coals in the bottom of the coal stove and also on top of the dutch pot.
3 medium sweet potatoes
2 cups coconut milk
3 cups water
1/4 cup raisins
2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup flour
2 tsp. mixed spice/nutmeg
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. margarine
2 Tbs. rum
2 Tbs. lime juice
- Grate potatoes and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 165°C.
- Combine coconut milk and water. Add the combined mixture to grated potatoes and all other ingredients except ,rum and lime juice.
- Pour into a well greased pan (23 cm) dot with margarine. Bake for 2 hours. Cool.
- Combine lime juice and rum, pour over pudding.