Some vehicles are fast. Some are sporty. Some are roomy. Some are luxurious. Some are tiny. But only one in our neighborhood can make your mouth water before it's even in sight. It's the pick-up truck that belongs to the yakiimo man.
In the bed of the truck is a wood-burning oven. No kidding--in the picture, you can see the firewood stacked next to it. The white pipe is the chimney.
Yakiimo are roasted sweet potatoes. While they get piping hot in the oven, the yakiimo man slowly cruises the neighborhood, stopping now and then to make a sale, or tend to the taters.
The first hint the yakiimo man is nearby is the distinctive cry "yaki-iiiiiiii-mooooo," delivered in a slow, deep-register sing-song. Speakers atop the truck's cab broadcast the welcome news. The second clue--if the wind is right--is the delicious aroma. C.J. can testify that I have, on occasion, altered course while out on a walk in order to intercept this vehicle.
Buy a yakiimo, and it's too hot to hold. The vendor puts it in a bag for you. A little salt, a little butter, and there's not much better, particularly on a chilly night. And the nights are starting to get chilly. So, for this week, hats off to the yakiimo truck!