Batata doce and purple biscuits

I headed out one evening for a photo hunt at sunset in Odeceixe, Portugal.   The skinny trunks of some trees lining a field caught my eye, so I pulled over and hopped a fence to make this photo. The mud was like quicksand, really sticky and wet, so I literally ran right out of my shoe while heading back to the car.

 As I was heading back to the car I noticed a truck pull up to the trees and a man got out...I didn't pay much attention but noticed he had some character as I drove by, and I saw piles and piles of purple skinned somethings on the ground and in the bed of his truck.   Always interested in food and farming, I pulled over again and had a chat with the guy.

Sounds simple, but I speak only very, very, very, broken Portuguese and he spoke Spanish slightly better than my Portuguese (no English).  However, we could communicate enough for him to let me know he visited Florida and New York and really liked the United States, and that he had spent the day harvesting the sweet potatoes.  I told him about our trip and that I'm a photographer who loves to cook.  He was kind enough to send me home with a big bag of sweet potatoes. They were like candy...seriously the best sweet potatoes I've ever had. I used them to make sweet potato biscuits for Thanksgiving that were outta sight!!

If I had known sweet potatoes were exotic and hard to find in Northern Europe, I would've picked some up in Portugal for the road.  When we got to Belgium, I planned on making these same biscuits as part of a meal we were preparing for our hosts. I found some purple potatoes in the store (where everything was in French, which I don't speak), and thinking, "well, maybe the skins are just more purple here, since in Portugal the skin was purple and not orange," I bought them for the biscuits.

Turns out those were just straight up purple potatos, and let me tell you, they made hilarious looking biscuits. They were tasty but ugly as hell....some reaction created green flecks in the purple dough too! Our hosts were brave enough to try them, thankfully.  Anyway, meeting this farmer, cooking with the potatoes, and then following up the experience with a purple potato mishap has been one of my favorite experiences on the trip :)


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