Zero Branco’s American potato
Territory interested in production:
Municipality of Zero Branco and Badoere (TV).
The American potato, also known as sweet potato, is a perennial herbaceous plant native to Central America. It was introduced in Europe in 1500 apparently by Christopher Columbus himself, after the discovery of the American continent. Currently it is cultivated not only in the areas of origin, but in all subtropical areas and also in Italy there are numerous areas suitable for its cultivation. The tuber is consumed from this vegetable, which is an excellent food for humans, and is similar to potatoes but has a sweeter taste.
In Veneto one of the characteristic cultivation areas of this vegetable is that around Zero Branco, where it spread from the second post-war period due to the climate and particularly suitable soils.
The Zero Branco sweet potato is a tuber characterized by an elongated pyriform shape, a thin brown skin and a very pasty and floury pulp, with an excellent consistency, a white color with a very sweet flavor in relation to the high presence of sugars. The weight can vary from 40 to 150g.
The cultivation of the American potato requires a mild climate and moist soils. The seedlings are planted towards the end of April-beginning of May and the harvest takes place from mid-August until the end of October. All operations are done by hand. The plant is positioned at the time of implantation in a slightly inclined position, in the
direction of maximum sun exposure. Harvesting is done by hand, using a plow, equipped with a knife for digging and swathing the tubers. The product is practically organic, given the absence of pesticides and herbicides, and after harvesting it is immediately launched for marketing.
From mid-August and throughout the autumn period they can be found at all Veneto retail markets.
The American potato is very nutritious and has a high sugar content. It is mainly used for direct consumption by boiling it or baked in the oven, however it also finds industrial uses for the production of starch and alcohol as well as for the production of fodder.