いも【芋】
じゃがいも【ジャガ芋】 , じゃが


■ いも - tubers in general
■ じゃがいも - the potato
■ Potato varieties
■ Potato dishes


■ いも - tubers in general いも is the generic term for a swollen tuber. In English "potato" is also used in a generic sense, to include "sweet potato" for example, but いも is even wider, including things like Jerusalem artichokes. By default, いも alone usually refers to さつまいも but in some compounds it is understood to mean じゃがいも.

■ じゃがいも - the potato The potato, staple of northern Europe and America. Also known as ジャガタラいも, where ジャガタラ is supposedly from Dutch Jacatra, an old name for Jakarta. (Supposedly, because it's unclear how a Dutch pronunciation of 'ja' could lead to ジャ.)

Like many food items, this term is written in different ways. A search at goo.ne.jp found the following:
じゃが芋1230 hits
ジャガ芋396 hits

A similar search at goo.net.jp found the following:
ジャガイモ14,255 hits
じゃがいも14,513 hits

Example
[Heading] 新じゃがと豚バラの炒め煮(テーマ素材 新じゃが)
[Beginning of recipe] 1)じゃが芋は皮をむいて水洗いし、大きいものは切って、170度の油でゆっくり揚げておく。
(Web, 2000)

新じゃが new potatoes (i.e., the new crop)

■ Potato varieties

男爵いも(だんしゃくいも) Variety very popular in Japan, brought from America to Hokkaido by a 川田男爵 (Baron Kawada) in 1907. Tend to crumble, even when cooked as new potatoes. Generally known as "Irish cobbler" in English, but a Web page, now defunct, listed the following as alternative names used in one place/time or another: America, Cobbler, Early Beauty, Early Eureka, Early Dixie, Early Petrosky, Early Standard, Early Victor, Early Waubonsie, Eureka, Extra Early Eureka, First Early, Flourball, Fruehe Amerikaner, Happy Medium, Irish Daisy, New Early, New Early Standard, New White Victor, Nittany Cobbler, Per Jan, Potentate, Trust Buster.

The association with Hokkaido is still strong, as in phrases such as 男爵の産地、北海道 (Web, 1999).

メークイン ("May Queen") Japan's number two variety: very firm flesh.

■ Potato dishes

肉じゃが A simple stewed dish of potatoes with a small amount of meat, and other vegetables, with a sweetish shoyu flavouring

いもフライ (Seems to be a Sano speciality) Pieces of potato - quarters of a small to medium size tuber - skewered and deep-fried in breadcrumbs. Normally eaten with brown sauce (ソース) on.

じゃがバター or バターじゃが Either a simple foil-baked potato, or a potato cut lengthwise into four quarters and grilled, in either case served with a knob of butter. You may even find these two expressions on the same menu referring to two different dishes.

Partly eaten skewer of いもフライ,
appropriately doused in brown sauce.
Photo: Brian Chandler, late June 2000


This entry was created by Brian Chandler, with additional contributions by Hiroshi Hasebe.


Created 2000-06-18. Addition Web hit stats by HH 2000-06-18. Photograph added by BC 2000-07-04.

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