The Skinny on Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes and yams are actually two very different vegetables.

While American grocery stores use the terms interchangeably, what they are always referring to is actually a sweet potato, not a yam. Garnet Yams and Jewel Yams, for instance, aren’t yams at all — they’re sweet potatoes! Candied Yams? Nope, sweet potatoes. Confused yet?

In fact, chances are that you’ll never accidentally buy an actual yam instead of a sweet potato at your local grocery. You can find “true” yams as well as other varities of sweet potatoes in Caribbean and Asian specialty grocery stores.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sweet Potatoes are on the rise

Via Slashfood:

ConAgra Foods plans to build a sweet potato processing plant in Louisiana. Primarily, of course, to cut them into fry shapes, so that fast food restaurants in the US can offer sweet potato fries on their menus.

Sweet potatoes are one of today’s hottest food trends with per capita consumption up 21 percent in the past five years according to the USDA. A 2007 Technomic survey showed that 85 percent of the general population is favorably inclined toward sweet potatoes.


But where will you be able to find sweet potato fries? It is a mystery.

A spokeswoman for ConAgra declined to tell Slashfood which fast-food restaurants might be using their taters citing confidentiality agreements.


Keep an eye out for sweet potato fries to pop up on fast food chain menus on or after November 2010, when the facility is slated to be built.

5 comments:

Alexandra said...

This has nothing to do with the above post, but I recently tracked down some REAL yams from a tropical grocery. I bought two varieties, I think "yellow" and "brazilian", whatever that means. Where can I find some preparation instructions? I've found a few things on the web, but it all looks kind of scary. Lots of boiling and rinsing and boiling and pounding and boiling again! I'm gonna give it a try, but I don't want to be poisoned!

HELP!

Nicole said...

@Alexandra: Here is the recipe on one of the flyers, for a cinnamon yam mash. I imagine you can be creative with the spices or try treating them like mashed sweet potatoes. The preparation seems easy enough although I've never made this, but by just boiling them and cooking them you should be fine! Good luck!

Cinnamon Yam Mash / bahamabreeze.com / Serves: 4
2 1/2 pounds of yams, peeled, 2” diced
1 quarts water, hot
1/2 tbsp salt
4 oz butter, cold, 1/2” dice

1. Place the peeled and diced yams in a large stock pot. Add hot water and salt, then place the stock pot on the stove over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 35 minutes or until an inserted fork in the yam pierces easily.

2. Drain the water from the yam and transfer them into a mixing bowl. Using a wire whisk, mash until yams are broken up. Add diced cold butter, ground cinnamon, white pepper and brown sugar then mix again until the yams are smooth and all of the ingredients are mixed evenly. If needed, season with additional salt to taste. Enjoy!

Alice said...

Perkos Restaurant at 9647 Micron Ave just off of Bradshaw Rd in Rancho Cordova, CA. That Perkos used to be called Bradshaw's Restaurant. They serve sweet potato fries with a delicious walnut dip.

TheIronYou said...

I wrote recently an article on the health benefits of sweet potatoes and it got a lot of coverage. Check it out and let me know what you think!
http://www.theironyou.com/2011/04/sweet-potato-hollywoods-stars-favorite.html

TheIronYou

Anthony said...

My wife makes sweet potato fries and may other dishes as well. They are really a great food and one of the few healthy things we can count on the kids eating.