Sweet Potatoes

sweet potato

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The sweet potato belongs to the morning glory family and is a native to tropical America. It shouldn't be confused with the Irish potato which belong to the solanacea family.

Thanks to early Spanish and Portuguese explorers the sweet potato made its way to the Philippines, East Indies, India and China. In Japan, where it is called Satsumo-imo (or Japanese potato) it was introduced much later.

There are the dry-fleshed and the moist-fleshed varieties. Curiously the 'dry-fleshed' have more moisture in them. In fact all sweet potatoes are improved and become sweeter when they are spread out after harvesting and allowed to 'sun bathe' for a few days before consuming.

The flesh can be yellow, orange or tinged with purple, the skin is brown to buff. In all cases they are an excellent source of carotens or vitamin A.

Sweet potatoes can be boiled, fried, pureed or baked in sweet or savory dishes. A baked sweet potato, hot from the oven with a dollop of fresh butter is a food fit for the gods.

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