• Purple sweet potato and taro root are being used to create a very different kind of purple ice cream (Instagram)
Japan's had to wait years to get this special purple ice-cream again.
By
Bianca Soldani

1 Sep 2016 - 2:26 PM  UPDATED 2 Sep 2016 - 2:07 PM

A limited edition purple ice-cream is generating plenty of excitement in Japan.

Haagen-Dazs have just released their purple sweet potato flavour in the Asian nation, and are attracting lots of love.

Autumn (which those in the northern hemisphere are about to dive into) is sweet potato season, and a Japanese variety of the root vegetable, satsuma-imo, is somewhat of a national treasure.

Although it’s a little sweeter than the orange-skinned cousin we enjoy in Australia, satsuma-imo is widely eaten in savoury dishes such as stews, and is sold roasted on the street. Recently however, it’s been making its way into ice-cream.

In 2012 and 2013, Haagen-Dazs seasonally released their purple potato tub in Japan to much success - and now it's back, to the joy of ice-cream loving locals, while McDonalds have done both a milkshake and soft serve ice-cream from the same sweet potato.

Meanwhile Japan's neighbours in the Philippines enjoy a similar kind of purple ice cream. Ube is a sweet dessert made from boiled purple sweet potato, coconut milk and sugar, and is also popular as an ice-cream flavour.

Back in Australia, a different kind of root vegetable is being used for purple soft serve.

Zero Degrees in Sydney have released a taro flavoured ice-cream which they serve in a puffer-fish-shaped taiyaki - a Japanese cake - used as a cone.

Taro root is native to Southeast Asia and India and is often prepared like a potato.

Feeling like some root veggies?
Sweet potato noodles (japchae)

Ready in less than 30 minutes, this Korean sweet potato noodle dish is sure to earn you a few high fives.

Japanese candied sweet potato (daigaku imo)

This is sweet potato at its very sweetest! Deep-fried sweet potato is tossed in a sticky, sweetened soy glaze and sprinkled with black sesame seeds. The name translates as ‘university potatoes’, believed to date back to the 1900s when the dish was popular with university students in Tokyo.

Taro chips and spicy avocado salsa (ocumo frito con guasacaca)

Similar to potato chips, these Venezuelan taro chips are given a double fry in this recipe for an extra crisp result. They are also popular thinly sliced, like corn chips. Guasacaca, a spicy avocado salsa similar to Mexican guacamole, often accompanies the chips as a dip. Every Latin country has its own variation of the salsa – some mash the ingredients until they are smooth, while others are left chunky, and more like a relish. The salsa is also popular served with grilled or barbecued meats, or prawns.