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ジャガイモ / the potato

In this article:
いも - tubers in general
じゃがいも - the potato
Potato varieties
Potato dishes


All words in left column are
"Entries" - i.e. in the main index

■ 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.

[** Either add the 'other' sorts of imo here, or leave for separate entry **]



■ じゃがいも - 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

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)


The above recipe involves 新じゃが or new potatoes (from the new crop, small, with skin that just rubs off)

■ Potato (ジャガイモ) varieties

だんしゃくいも 【男爵芋】

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 this web page lists 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.

Notice that ソース isn't an Entry, even though it's in
the text, because this doesn't explain it.



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.

[** Photographs to follow! **]

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This entry was created by Brian Chandler.