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Have you enjoyed Kamoteque?

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Kamote-Q

Kamote-Q

Raw Kamote

Raw Kamote

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“This is a sweet potato; my home state of North Carolina grows more of these than any other US state”, I proudly state picking up what looked just like the sweet potatoes I know well. My wife injects, “that is not what you think it is.” I ripe the skin off the spud and it is white, not the orange I was expecting. I bite and am at first disappointed. The potato is not sweet at all; it is starchy. After a few more bites I begin to appreciate the potato for what it is a replacement for rice as a starch. My wife educates me, “this is kamote.”

My first experience with kamote came on a beach trip to Dumaluan Beach on Panglao Island. Our Filipino family had boiled the potatoes and brought them on the jeepney we had rented. My next experience came back in the USA. My wife bought some kamote. When I saw the kamote, I was expecting the same boiled kamote I had in the Philippines. My wife said she was going to make kamoteque. This intrigued me. I had enjoyed eating bananaque and was curious what the kamote version would taste like. My wife peeled the kamote and cut it into maybe ¼ inch thick disk. She then fried the kamote in a pan with brown sugar and cooking oil. The result was nothing short of delicious. The combination and contrast of the sweet brown sugar and the starchy kamote tasted incredibly good. To my surprise I actually like kamoteque even better than bananaque.

I am not a Filipino street food aficionado, but in my research I found that kamoteque is a very popular street food sold on a stick. The only thing I have eaten bought on the street in the Philippines was a weird alien-looking, but delicious fruit called rambutan.  I don’t think the stick would change the flavor of kamoteque just make it more convenient to eat. It is possible that the street version may taste difference, because of the way it is prepared or the oil that is used. If so some reader who knows please educate me in the comments section.

Kamoteque is delicious

Kamoteque is delicious

Kamoteque may be my favorite Filipino dessert. Have you tried kamoteque? Which do you like better bananaque or kamoteque? What is your favorite Filipino dessert?

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Jay Stainback

Jay Stainback lives in Raleigh, NC, USA and is hoping/planning to retire to Bohol in about 10 years. He is married to his beautiful Filipina wife Juliet whom he met on-line. They were married 12/7/02 and have two boys’ ages 9 years old and 5 years old. Jay has visited the Philippines 4 times the first time 1 week, the 2nd time 2 weeks, the 3rd time for 3 weeks, the 4th time 4 weeks spending most of their time in Bohol.

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Rease Wold
5 years ago

Like kamoteque much better than bananaque, but have always wondered why they don’t call bananaque “sagingque” 🙂

Jay
Jay
5 years ago
Reply to  Rease Wold

Hi Rease,

I enjoy both, but I do like the kamoteque better because of the texture and the contrast between starchy and sweet. Not sure why Filipinos use the English word banana for bananaque. Thanks for your input and vote for kamoteque!

Peace

Jay

Harry Bernard Smith
5 years ago

Lots when in Bohol

Jay
Jay
5 years ago

Hi Harry,

Bohol is a beautiful place!

Peace

Jay

Ronald McCarthy
Ronald McCarthy
5 years ago

Quite interesting. In my community on Cebu we call them Saging Que or Camote Que. I’ve experienced them only on a skewer and they are delicious. As far as “deserts” go, my favorite has to be Leche Flan. If I had to live in a world without chocolate, leche flan would be a welcome substitute!

Nilda
Nilda
5 years ago

Same here Ronald, I love leche plan!

Jay
Jay
5 years ago

Hi Ronald,

I have seen the camote spelling as well as kamote. My wife spells with a “k”. I figure it ain’t worth arguing over. Leche Flan is one of my favorites, also. I am not sure it can touch my wife’s Mango Float though. At our pot luck dinners the Mango Float always goes fast!

Peace

Jay

Nilda
Nilda
5 years ago

Hi Jay, if you like bananaque and kamoteque, you will like saging turon with nangka, ask your wife to make you one, my husband love it! That’s his favorite snack when we visit to our hometown Polomolok, near Gensan.

Nilda

Jay
Jay
5 years ago
Reply to  Nilda

Hi Nilda,

Saging turon is banana lumpia. I tried it before and was not impressed, but I will give it another shot soon. Thanks for your input and suggestion!

Peace

Jay

Royale J L Bedaure
5 years ago

Yes so sweet this variety Bob. Oriental stores here labeled them as “Japanese yam”.

Jay
Jay
5 years ago

Hi Royale, I actually have not tasted the sweetness in kamote. I saw on-line when I was doing my research for the article that it was also called an Asian sweet potato, but compared to NC sweet potatoes it does not taste sweet to me. I had eaten white sweet potatoes in NC and I think they are actually the same spud. I prefer the name kamote because my definition of sweet potato is: sweet potato- a potato that is sweet. I have not found kamote to be sweet. I had not heard of “Japanese yam”. Thanks for the information!… Read more »

April Pulvera Leblond
5 years ago

I like sweet potatoes in Phil than here in Canada.

Jay
Jay
5 years ago

Hi April,

I love NC orange sweet potatoes! Kamote is good boiled, but when caramelized in brown sugar it is fantastic! Thanks for your report from North of the Border, eh!

Peace

Jay

.Tom Ramberg
.Tom Ramberg
5 years ago

I am hoping to grow some of the orange sweet potatoes. I have already managed to grow pinto beans and field peas.

Jay
Jay
5 years ago
Reply to  .Tom Ramberg

Hi Tom,

Good luck on the orange sweet potatoes! I like them, too. I think since kamote grows in the Philippines their orange cousins should as well. My research says that kamote was introduced to the Philippines by the Spaniards, who got it from the Americas.

Peace

Jay

Malcolm
Malcolm
5 years ago

I’m not a great fan of deserts although I will nibble at the odd slice of mango float when offered. Back with the kamote, I prefer the “Imelda” variety which is orange/yellow and not as fibrous as other varieties. I think it goes particularly well with the acidity of kinilaw prepared the Ilongo way without coconut milk. They used to grow lots in Leyete province where it may, or may not, have been introduced along with Golden Kohol in the time of Imelda Marcos. We can buy it at the Bankerohan market in Davao every once in a while.

Jay
Jay
5 years ago
Reply to  Malcolm

Hi Malcolm,

I was not a big fan of Filipino desserts when I first started experiencing the cultures, but I love several of them now. I think it is a matter of acquiring a taste and trying different ones. Also you have to keep in mind if you have one bad experience the dessert may have just been poorly prepared. I enjoy both kamote and the orange sweet potatoes grown in NC now. Thanks for your input from your experience!

Peace

Jay

Jim
Jim
5 years ago

For over a year now whenever we make fries at home here in Bukidnon we use Camote. Peel and slice as you would potatoes and deep fry in vegetable and vinegar.l until golden brown.
They absorb less oil and are delicious with a little salt and vinegar.

Jim
Jim
5 years ago
Reply to  Jim

* Deep fry in vegetable oil.

Jay
Jay
5 years ago
Reply to  Jim

Hi Jim,

Thanks for sharing your recipe for kamote fries! I bet they are delicious. I have had orange sweet potato fries which are tasty. I will have to try kamote fries.

Peace

Jay

MindanaoBob
5 years ago
Reply to  Jim

We do the same, and have for years, Jim. Camote is much more diabetes friendly than potatoes are.

Jay
Jay
5 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

Hi Bob,

Is kamote cooked in caramelized brown sugar diabetes friendly?

Brian H Yasay
5 years ago

Kamoteque is like our Spam since WW 2 where there are not enough other food during those times….

Jay
Jay
5 years ago
Reply to  Brian H Yasay

oooohhhhh Spam!

Actually, I don’t get your comment, Brian. I mean a lot of people don’t like Spam, but in small quantities I like it. Spam is a protein where kamote is fiber and carbohydrate.

Peace

Jay

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