The warmest, simplest winter food

Food is more than fulfilling metabolic need; it is emotion, sensation and life itself. People differ in their inclination towards food; even the same individual prefer different food under different circumstances. Today I will recommend two types of food that are perfectly apt for Swedish winter: they are as warm as home-coming, and are simple enough to prepare in a shared student kitchen.

SWEET POTATOES

The vendors selling roasted sweet potatoes are a shared memory of post-1990s’ China.  Although such sign disappears from my life since I moved to Sweden, the nostalgic taste of roasted sweet potatoes can be easily replicated in your own oven, in three steeps:

  1. Pre-warm the oven at 200C, 10 min *

  2. Put the sweet potatoes (NOT peeled), 70 min *

  3. Let the sweet potatoes cool down **

A qualified roasted sweet potato should:

  • secret a viscous, black juice
  • have readily removable skin
  • soft enough be bailed with a spoon

* It might be variation between my oven and yours

** Allowing your sweet potatoes to cool down is really important. High-temperature food and beverages are a known risk factor for various types of cancers. Besides, sweet potatoes actually taste better when they are a bit cooler.

SWEET CHESTNUT

Some mix up sweet chestnut with it cousin, horse chestnut, due to their appearance:

                     

sweet chestnut                                                        horse chestnut

(photo: http://healingweeds.blogspot.se)

They are so alike, aren’t them? However, horse chestnut is bitter and poisonous whereas sweet chestnut produces probably the most delicious form of carbohydrate. There are mainly two ways to prepare chestnut: poach or roast. I have experimented both and they worked equally well: so it depends solely on your taste.

  1. Gently rinse the chestnuts with water
  2. Make a small incision on their surface with scissor or knife
  3. Poach in boiling water 20 min                   OR             roast in a pre-warmed oven, 200C, 25 min

              

In contrast to sweet potatoes, roasted chestnut should be eaten BEFORE they completely cool down and not to be left overnight.

What is your favourite winter food? You’re welcome to share with us 😀

//tianlin

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