Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

General Information:  The sweet potato is the fifth most important starch worldwide (rice, wheat, corn, and manioc). Despite the name, it is not actually a potato, but rather the root of a morning glory plant. The form varies from long to oval, and the skin color varies from reddish to brown. The flesh is white. The sweet potato has a remarkable 3-6% sugar content, which is increased by storage at warm temperatures and during the cooking process. The white-fleshed variety will remain dry and crumbly (like the potato) when cooked. The orange-fleshed variety will retain much more moisture, and the sugars will be more prevalent. The sweet potato provide more calories, minerals, and vitamin A than a potato, but less protein.

Season:  September – February (Look for those from Italy. Both orange and white flesh varieties are available in Switzerland).

Purchasing Tips:  Look for those that are small- to medium-sized, with smooth skins and no bruises. They should be thick and heavy for their size.

Storage:  Keep in a cool, dark location for up to one week. Do not refrigerate. Sweet potatoes spoil very quickly.

Cooking Tips:  Sweet potatoes are probably at their best when simply roasted in their skins. They can be used like potatoes, or combined with potatoes to make an interesting puree or gnocchi. White varieties are not good when mashed as they tend to turn gluey. Dry deep-frying white varieties as an alternative to chips.

Nutritional Info:  Good source of carotene, iron, and vitamins A and C.

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