Posted by: lornasass | January 14, 2010


While we’re in Maui, we have a habit of stopping at every roadside fruit and veggie stand we pass. Usually, there’s lots of citrus, coconuts, passion fruit, and a mind-boggling diversity of avocados.  But recently at a small outdoor market in Kula, we happened upon some purple potatoes brought in from the neighboring island, Molokai.

Loving Peruvian purple potatoes which we often buy at the Union Square market in NYC, we pounced on these and they did not disappoint.  Here’s what they looked like before we cooked them:

We steamed them whole and cut them into thick slices to eat.  Molokai purple potatoes are sweet and very creamy, with a hint of chestnut flavor.  They are divine and needed no salt, butter, or any other embellishment!



  1. Hi Lorna,
    I’m response to the purple potatoes, they’re actually an Okinawan sweet potatoes, native of Japan.

    I love them! We eat them every week instead of normal potatoes.

    • We eat them often too. Like candy, especially when steamed in the pressure cooker.

  2. Lorna. You do have the Molokai Purple sweet potato. The Okinawa Purple has light beige skin with purple flesh. Were you allowed to bring these to the mainland? I have been trying to get some to add to my sweetpotato collection, but have been told they are illegal to take out of Hawaii.

  3. Lorna

    I was finally able to find some True Molokai Purple Stock to add to my sweetpotato collection and will be offering slips next (2013) season. I also have some other very interesting new Purple flesh varieties for trial this year.

    The Molokai Purple is much easier to grow than the Okinawa Purple.

    Now I am still looking for the “Agena” Variety of Purple flesh sweetpotato, also from Hawaii.

    • Hi Gary: it’s so much fun for me to think about you growing more varieties of those delicious purple potatoes. You are so thoughtful to keep me posted. Happy growing! Lorna

    • Do you have Molokai slips avail? Thanks for posting. Ann M

      • Sorry, I don’t.

  4. We were just in Hawaii. The supermarket had the white skinned as well as the red skinned Okinawa sweet potato. The grocer showed me the insides and said the red variety was darker purple. I didn’t note too much difference. I have ordered some slips of the Molokai sweet potato from a guy in California.

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