You say potato, we say Sweet Mamas! The sweet potato is an important symbol of Taiwanese cuisine, and the Sweet Potato Mamas serve up that tradition from their street stalls of Taipei. Take a Taipei tour for good as you learn how these women work to support their families, and help them serve a lunchtime crowd. All proceeds from this tour will go to the Genesis Social Welfare Foundation’s Sweet Potato Mama Program to support single mothers.
The sweet potato is more than just a food in Taiwan — it’s a part of Taiwanese culture. There are cultural expressions about the sweet potato, and even the country is said to be shaped like a sweet potato. But most of all, the sweet potato is a popular street food snack, and that’s where we come in! You’re going to check out the sweet potato street food scene and meet the women who cook and sell the snacks: the Sweet Potato Mamas.
Your Taipei tour will start by taking you to the base of the Sweet Potato Mama industry, the warehouse. You’ll learn about the Sweet Potato Mama Program and the equipment that these women use every day in their business. The program is run by the Genesis Social Welfare Foundation, a well-known support organisation in Taiwan that runs care facilities for underprivileged vegetative patients, as well as community welfare initiatives. By providing the space, training, and equipment needed, the foundation helps Sweet Potato Mamas to start their own businesses. The foundation also provides the first bag of sweet potatoes to the women free of charge, to help get the business going. Thanks to receiving these necessities, these Mamas can typically start their own business within as little as one week.
After our warehouse visit, it’ll be time to join the Mamas! We’re going to see how they work by working ourselves, helping them to sell sweet potatoes. Between noon and 1pm is break time for the people who work in this area — but it’s peak hour for the Sweet Potato Mamas. You’ll learn from them and help them to sell sweet potatoes right on the street, and have the opportunity to interact with all the locals who stop by.
Once your shift is over, you’ll be treated to a sweet potato roasted by a Mama herself — a great snack after all your hard work.