Batata is an herbaceous plant: perennial if growing spontaneously, annual if cultivated. Its place of origin is controversial: first it was thought it came from Antilles, because Columbus found it in these islands. However, in subsequent explorations it was found that it was cultivated by natives in Mexico, Peru, and Chile. Moreover, it was cultivated in China even before the discovery of America.
The cultivation has developed in the Municipalities of Zero Branco and Morgano (Badoere) above all from the post-war period. The batata or sweet potato produced in these areas is tapered and characterized by a white color, a very pasty and mealy pulp, and is very sweet. From the seedling transplanting to the harvesting, all the activities are carried out by the farmer by hand, including the quality selection.
Except for a basic manuring, neither parasiticides nor herbicides are used for its cultivation. The holdings involved are about 70, and the main commercial channel is represented by the wholesale markets of Bologna, Milan, Padova, Verona, and Treviso.
Ipomoea Batatas. Fam.: Convolvulaceae
The Batata (Ipomoea batatas), also known as sweet potato, was brought in Europe by Christopher Columbus from his first journey to the New World. By analogy, it gave the name to the more widespread Potato (Solanum tuberosum) of the Solanaceae family that was brought in Spain in the second half of the 16th century. In spring they produce big bell-shaped flowers, white or pink. At the base of the stalk, big tuberous yellow or orange roots develop. The batata is a highly energy-giving food. Its analysis reveals that it is a mainly basic food, therefore alkaline and energy-giving for its sugars. It is a rather plastic food, reconstituent, remineralizing, depurative, diuretic, antinflammatory and laxative at the same time.
It is recommended in cases of asthenia, anemia, digestive apparatus, liver, and kidney diseases, arteriosclerosis, rheumatism, and arthritis. Do not consume it associated with proteins. It must be chewed well in order to digest the starch it is rich in, also because it must not be associated with liquids.