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~An Inconvenient Truth - A Sweet Potato is Not a Yam~

IMG_8026Sweet potatoes were first introduced to North America when Columbus brought them over from the island of St. Thomas, where this large edible root, which belongs to the morning-glory family, is native to the tropical regions of the Americas.  There are many varieties of sweet potato, but the two most widely grown commercially are a pale sweet potato and a dark-skinned variety Americans erroneously call "yam" -- the true yam is not even related to the sweet potato.  The pale potato has a thin, light yellow skin and pale yellow flesh.  Its flavor is not sweet, and, after being cooked, the pale sweet potato is dry and crumbly, similar to that of a Russet potato. The darker variety (pictured above) has a thicker, dark-orange skin and vivid-orange, sweet flesh. When cooked on the stovetop or baked in the oven, or via any other method for that matter, the dark-skinned, orange-colored sweet potato has a very sweet flavor and a creamy texture.

The dark-skinned, orange-colored variety is the only kind I use.

IMG_5635When buying sweet potatoes, choose plump, firm even-sized ones with no cracks. Like regular potatoes they should never be stored in the refrigerator, but do need to be stored in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place. If the temperature is above 60 degrees, they'll begin to sprout, get woody and/or shriveled.  Cooked sweet potatoes, if stored in the refrigerator, last about a week.  Like regular potatoes, sweet potates are always eaten cooked, never raw.  I keep sweet potatoes on-hand all year.  I could, and occasionally do, make a meal just for me out of a pillowy-soft steaming-hot baked sweet potato (dripping with a few pats of melting butter and seasoned with a generous grinding of sea salt and a flavorful peppercorn blend).  It's simple, straightforward, scrumptious, and, oh-so-satisfying.  Even if it weren't nutritious, I'd simply slide the sweet potato off my "favorites list" and onto to my "guilty-pleasures list", and go right on eating them anyway.

Try my Slightly-Spicy and Creamy Rich Sweet Potato Soup:

6a0120a8551282970b022ad3c11477200bOr, try my Savory Crispy-Topped Sweet Potato Casserole too:


"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos Courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2021)


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