When is National Sweet Potato Month?
The month of February is Sweet Potato Month! Sweet Potato Day is the First Monday in April.
Facts about Sweet Potatoes
"The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is a dicotyledonous plant which belongs to the family Convolvulaceae. Amongst the approximately 50 genera and more than 1000 species of this family, only I. batatas is a crop plant whose large, starchy, sweet tasting tuberous roots are an important root vegetable (Purseglove, 1991; Woolfe, 1992). The young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens. The sweet potato is only distantly related to the potato (Solanum tuberosum). It is commonly called a yam in parts of North America, although they are only very distantly related to the other plant widely known as yams (in the Dioscoreaceae family), which is native to Africa and Asia.
The genus Ipomoea that contains the sweet potato also includes several garden flowers called morning glories, though that term is not usually extended to Ipomoea batatas. Some cultivars of Ipomoea batatas are grown as ornamental plants.
This plant is a herbaceous perennial vine, bearing alternate heart-shaped or palmately lobed leaves and medium-sized sympetalous flowers. The edible tuberous root is long and tapered, with a smooth skin whose color ranges between red, purple, brown and white. Its flesh ranges from white through yellow, orange, and purple." resource link: wikipedia encyclopedia
The roots are most frequently boiled, fried, or baked. They can also be processed to make starch and a partial flour substitute. Industrial uses include the production of starch and industrial alcohol.
Although the leaves and shoots are also edible, the starchy tuberous roots are by far the most important product. In some tropical areas, they are a staple food-crop.
- Candied sweet potatoes: are a side dish consisting mainly of sweet potatoes prepared with brown sugar, marshmallows, maple syrup, molasses, or other sweet ingredients. Often served on Thanksgiving, this dish represents traditional American cooking and of that prepared with the indigenous peoples of the Americas when settlers first arrived.
- Sweet potato pie: is also a traditional favorite dish in southern U.S. cuisine.
- Baked sweet potatoes: are sometimes offered in restaurants as an alternative to baked potatoes. They are often topped with brown sugar and butter. In Dominican Republic sweet potato is enjoyed for breakfast. In China sweet potatoes are often baked in a large iron drum and sold as street food during winter.
- Sweet potato fries: or chips are another common preparation, and are made by julienning and deep frying sweet potatoes, in the fashion of French fried potatoes.
- Sweet Potato Butter: can be cooked into a gourmet spread.
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