Meeting consumer preferences for boiled and pounded yams in new varieties

Meeting consumer preferences for boiled and pounded yams in new varieties

Yam is a cherished food in West Africa. It is eaten boiled, roasted or fried, but especially as pounded yam (a slightly adhesive dough made by peeling, boiling, pounding and kneading). New yam varieties will only be successful if they can be used in these favorite recipes. In Nigeria consumers look for a pounded yam that is white and has a certain texture (easily stretched and molded, smooth and moderately soft). Second, pounded yam must have a pleasant aroma and taste (not bitter). In Benin, where boiled yam is a popular street food, consumers want tubers that are easy to peel, white or yellowish when boiled, sticky, crumbly, with a sweet taste and a pleasant smell. Boiled yams should not be too dark, or hard to the touch. Identifying these criteria precisely will help breeders to select the right lines for the next generation of improved yams.

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Pounding new yam hybrids in CNRA, Bouaké, Côte d’Ivoire. D. Dufour (CIRAD)
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Boiled yam pieces are crushed and pounded in a mortar by two pestles simultaneously to produce a smooth and stretchable paste. B. Teeken (IITA)

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