I discovered that the sweet potato season runs mainly in the fall and winter and more seasonal goods appear in stores, vending machines, and restaurants. In my quest to find the most delicious sweet potato treats, I venture forth from summer sweet potato treats into the harsh cold of autumn and winter!
Sweet Potato Bread
I managed to grab this magnificent loaf at a bread shop in Kasumigaseki, near Tokyo International University. The bread itself just has a hint of sweetness from the potato but it has bits of sweet potato baked into the loaf as well. It was so soft and fluffy, with just the right amount of flavor, in my opinion. It’s great with or without butter. I highly recommend!
Sweet Potato Drink
Starting in October, JR East had a special drink added to its railway stations: A sweet potato drink! I don’t think it’s supposed to be a coffee, tea, or latte, given the consistency, so I call is a drink generally. It gets served warm and has a pleasant sweetness to it. It’s almost like drinking a mild french toast, if the toast were liquid and had a small amount of potato in it. Great for cold nights walking home from the station!
Sweet Potato Taiyaki
Taiyaki are these fish-shaped waffles that are usually stuffed with something sweet and are delightful in the colder weather. While red bean paste usually reigns supreme, down on Penny Candy Alley, you can get one filled with delicious sweet potato. If you’re not a starch fan, you can skip this, but the soft, crispy waffle shell complements the sweet potato insides quite nicely. It is a bit on the heavy side, though, so one should be plenty.
Sweet Potato Cheese Tart
There exists a pretty well-known cheese tart company, Pablo, in Tokyo. It has smaller off-shoots known as Pablo Mini, where you can get a smaller selection of the shop’s famous cheese tarts. This season, they had sweet potato tarts for sale. The tart itself is filled with a cheesecake-like middle and topped with sweet potato goodies. It has a nice sweet potato flavor (it has a bit of fall spice to it), but the cheese tart filling and crust really take over the flavor after one or two chews. It’s a nice treat if you’re not really into something with too much sweet potato flavor and if you’re a fan of cheesecake in general.
Sweet Potato Chips/Crisps
Let’s end on a savory note! This is a common treat you can find all over Coedo (Kurazukuri Street) in Kawagoe. They’re long slices of sweet potato deep fried to make a delightful crisp. They have that familiar fried food flavor with just a hint of starch and sweetness from the potato. The chips are huge, so you’ll want to share with a friend or two!
And that’s it for my sweet potato adventures! You can buy sweet potatoes from trucks that are roasted, hot, and fresh all over Saitama prefecture in the sweet potato season, so also be on the lookout for those! Overall, if you like the sweet tubers, there are many treats just waiting for you to try.