“banana que” (referred to as “sundot saging” in the Province of Batangas, Philippines and other nearby Provinces), “kamote que” (can this be called “sundot kamote”?) was conceived. It is basically a snack or dessert dish made from slices or as recently being prepared, large sticks, of sweet potato deep fried in oil with sugar until pieces are coated with caramelized sugar.
Like, “banana que” and “turon”, “kamote que” is also a popular Filipino comfort food widely patronized by the masses and even by some socialites. A relatively healthy and cheap snack meal widely available in many places where there are gathering or congregation of people like markets, schools, townships, churches, supermarkets, transportation terminals, major road junctions, government offices and many more.
The name “kamote que” was also probably coined by the common people due to the way it is served; skewered in bamboo sticks like “banana que” and of course barbeque. Recent preparation however has deviated from the usual skewered type. Now, the sweet potatoes are cut in large sticks or strips instead of just sliced and after cooking are served in small paper or plastic bags and not impaled with the familiar bamboo sticks.
While I still call this as “kamote que” we will be preparing the large sticks version. I find them a lot easier to eat and more appealing to serve. The nice coating of caramelized sugar is also better distributed around the smaller and more uniform sweet potato pieces. But you can prepare it as you like……. it will be the same sweet and yummy “kamote que” at the end after all.
In spite of the names, the sweet potato is only distantly related to the potato. The softer, orange variety is intentionally called a yam in parts of North America to differentiate it from the firmer white variety. It is however botanically very distinct from the other vegetable called a yam, which is native to Africa and Asia.
To prepare a sufficient “kamote que” for a group of 4 males, I purchased 4 large pieces of the firm variety starchy tubers more than 500 grams in weight. This is the red skinned type “kamote” with white flesh commonly used in vegetable dishes here in Sri Lanka like “sweet potato with cardamom and chillies”.