Photo credit – Obaapa Kitchen

I was briskly walking home from town when I accidentally overhead two teenagers having a chat near the fried yam seller in my neighbourhood.

Apparently, they had been served yam but waiting for their change.

One of them asked the other: “So why does yam fried at home have this subtle bitter taste and not crispy too? I prefer fried yam from the vendors than when made at home.”

I was hurrying home so didn’t get to hear whether there was a response from his peer.

However, I’m certain he would not have any better response to that question. You need to be an expert in the kitchen or have some excellent culinary skills to answer that, trust me.

I pondered over the question and here are some answers I deduced. Fried yam from the streets may taste better than home made ones as a result of the following.

Oil used
Food vendors fry yam in deep pots with a lot of oil covering the yam. This allows oil to take over the yam throughout the frying process and yam doesn’t stick to frying pan to burn. At home, most people use small oil and frying pan which leaves yam slighly burnt with bitter taste. Others use oil that has previously been used to fry fish, plantain or other kinds of foods to fry yam. This automatically transfers flavour from previously fried food to the yam.

Frying skills
To achieve crispy fried yam, food vendors have a skill they employ hidden to most people. While the yam is steamy hot on fire, they sprinkle two or three handful of water in the oil to make it crispy.

Type of yam
Because street yam vendors have been in the business for a while, they seek for sweet yam and are able to detect suitable yams for frying. At home, we just fry any yam we find in the kitchen when we are craving for fried yam in most instances.

Food vendors usually keep fried yam in baskets covered with paper or keep it in covered glass seives. At home, we put fried yam in bowls or plates and cover them with pot lids, reducing its crispiness.

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