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BTD Forums  /  Cook Right 4 Your Type  /  Whatever happened to sweet potatoes
Posted by: GillianR, Saturday, October 2, 2010, 2:35am
Many years ago, my Mom would bake sweet potatoes. They were a pale yellow and they tasted dry and nutty...a little like chestnuts. They baked beautifully.

I can still get pale yellow sweet potatoes but they are moist and taste like the orange fleshed ones.

If I could find those chestnutty ones I would snorf down a couple right now.

Anybody get this type of sweet potato where they are?
Posted by: DenverFoodie, Saturday, October 2, 2010, 4:58am; Reply: 1
Perhaps your mother's choice was not sweet potato but something else.   ??)  
Posted by: Goldie, Saturday, October 2, 2010, 12:05pm; Reply: 2
place yours in the toaster oven for on hour or more on 400 -poke a few fork holes in them .. they will be cripy toasty..  
Posted by: Sharon, Saturday, October 2, 2010, 1:37pm; Reply: 3
Sometimes I find Japanese Sweet potatoes and they are a pale yellow color inside and they have red skin outside. I think they are only available in the fall around here but I try to buy them when I find them. They are very good and add a new flavor. I wish more farmers will grow them and make them more available.

http://www.google.com/images?client=safari&rls=en&q=japanese+sweet+potato&oe=UTF-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=ZzSnTIqQO4L6lwey3Y2eDg&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=4&ved=0CC8QsAQwAw
Posted by: O in Virginia, Saturday, October 2, 2010, 3:10pm; Reply: 4
I think there is a difference between sweet potatoes and yams, but I can never remember which is which - one is paler and the other is a darker orange.  One is a bit sweeter than the other.  To add to the confusion, it seems the names are used interchangeably for both.  But it looks like there are so many more varieties now than there used to be.  I just bought red sweet pototoes that I wanted to try.  I've never had red sweet potatoes, but now I read they are an avoid for me.  :(
Posted by: GillianR, Saturday, October 2, 2010, 5:58pm; Reply: 5
Thanks for all the replies.

I am certain that they were sweet potatoes.

In BC, Canada, sweet potatoes are sold this way:
orange fleshed ones are called yams (have a redder skin, as well).
pale fleshed ones are called sweet potatoes(usually a beigy-grey coloured skin).
In reality they are both from the sweet potato family.
I have never seen a true yam here.

I believe that in other parts of Canada the lighter ones are called yams and the orange ones are called sweet potatoes.

The pale fleshed ones we get now look the same as the ones we used to get and are marked the same but they taste differently.

My Mom (she has an excellent memory) says the same thing.

I will look for the Japanese sweet potatoes to try. :)

Has anyone had the drier, chestnut-tasting, not-so-sweet potato? If they still exist maybe I can grow some.

When I was in New Zealand in the 70's I really enjoyed the kumara they had there. I have never seen them here, though.
Posted by: GillianR, Saturday, October 2, 2010, 6:02pm; Reply: 6
Quoted from Sharon
Sometimes I find Japanese Sweet potatoes and they are a pale yellow color inside and they have red skin outside. I think they are only available in the fall around here but I try to buy them when I find them. They are very good and add a new flavor. I wish more farmers will grow them and make them more available.

http://www.google.com/images?client=safari&rls=en&q=japanese+sweet+potato&oe=UTF-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=ZzSnTIqQO4L6lwey3Y2eDg&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=4&ved=0CC8QsAQwAw


Thanks for the sw. pot. images, Sharon. I will get my Mom to look through them tomorrow.
Posted by: GillianR, Saturday, October 2, 2010, 6:09pm; Reply: 7
Found this in Wikipedia. Peanut sauce and sweet potato! What a great idea!

Africa

    * "Amukeke" (sun dried slices of storage roots) and "inginyo" (sun dried crushed storage roots) are a staple food for people in northeastern Uganda (Abidin, 2004). Amukeke is mainly for breakfast, eaten with peanut sauce. People generally eat this food while they are drinking a cup of tea in the morning, around 10 am. Inginyo will be mixed with cassava flour and tamarind, to make food called "atapa". People eat "atapa" with smoked fish cooked in peanut sauce or with dried cowpea leaves cooked in peanut sauce.
    * The young leaves and vine tips of sweet potato leaves are widely consumed as a vegetable in West African countries (Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, for example), as well as in northeastern Uganda, East Africa (Abidin, 2004). According to FAO leaflet No. 13 - 1990, sweet potato leaves and shoots are a good source of vitamins A, C, and B2 (Riboflavin), and according to research done by A. Khachatryan, are an excellent source of lutein.
Posted by: Sharon, Saturday, October 2, 2010, 7:56pm; Reply: 8
Gillian, That sounds good! I'm a sweet potato and peanut fan...
Posted by: jayneeo, Saturday, October 2, 2010, 9:13pm; Reply: 9
unfortunately yams are not found in US markets, but sw. potatoes are often called yams. I love the japanese ones too!! I bet those are the ones you mean, cuz they are kinda chestnutty.
Posted by: Victoria, Saturday, October 2, 2010, 9:32pm; Reply: 10
Gillian,
Salutations from one old fashioned sweet potato lover to another!!  (woot)

There are indeed still in existence the kind of sweet potatoes we ate as children!  What I've noticed around here in western Oregon is that there are several varieties of that tan-skinned, yellow flesh one.  And I also think that it's a seasonal thing regarding which one is available at any time.  And different stores will carry different varieties from other stores.  I eat organic produce the majority of the time and go from one store to another, getting the types of food that each store specializes in.  And sometimes I'll buy commercial sweet potatoes when they are unavailable at my usual stores.

Some kinds are exactly what I used to eat . . not too sweet, still moist, but not too moist.  I don't like them dry and mealy, but with a fine, dryer, creamy texture.  Some varieties are very sweet, dense and sticky, like a dessert without the sugar!  They have their appeal, but not as a daily food.  Sometimes the only ones available are giant, almost the size of a butternut squash.  I don't like them as well.

I'm really not a fan of garnet and jewel "yams" because they can often be stringy in texture and watery.

But I take sweet potato shopping seriously, because it's my main comfort food, as far as carbs are concerned.
Posted by: GillianR, Sunday, October 3, 2010, 6:37pm; Reply: 11
Quoted from jayneeo
unfortunately yams are not found in US markets, but sw. potatoes are often called yams. I love the japanese ones too!! I bet those are the ones you mean, cuz they are kinda chestnutty.



Quoted from Victoria
Gillian,
Salutations from one old fashioned sweet potato lover to another!!  (woot)

There are indeed still in existence the kind of sweet potatoes we ate as children!

But I take sweet potato shopping seriously, because it's my main comfort food, as far as carbs are concerned.


(woot) :)Everyone gives me "sweet potato" hope! Thank-you everyone. Now I am excited to hunt them down. When I find the right ones I am going to try planting some.
Posted by: Victoria, Sunday, October 3, 2010, 7:30pm; Reply: 12
Last night I thought about you when I opened my baked sweet potato.  It was the texture of a roasted chestnut, not too sweet, not too dry.  Come on over for dinner!  ;)
Posted by: O in Virginia, Sunday, October 3, 2010, 9:25pm; Reply: 13
I'm baking my red sweet potatoes for dinner tonight.  I'm curious to see what they're like.

Editing to add:  The red sweet potatoes were really just a vivid orange color, not red like blood oranges.  They were sweet, moist and creamy, not the dry crumbly chestnutty kind like some of you enjoy.  Just thought I'd update anybody who cared to know.  :)
Posted by: Wholefoodie, Monday, October 4, 2010, 1:12am; Reply: 14
Hi Gillian,

I have been buying my sweet potatoes at local farms and farmers markets the past few weeks and I was quite surprised to find the type you descibe, pale, dryer and kind of like a chestnut. I wasn't thrilled with them at first. They seemed bland compared to what I was used to and because the texture is so different, I kept thinking they weren't cooked. But in the end, I appreciated them for their own unique flavor, and when I pick out local potatoes, it's always a surpise to see what is inside since they look the same on the outside.

Interesting topic and it's nice to learn a little more about this potato.

Lisa
Posted by: Jared, Monday, October 4, 2010, 2:20am; Reply: 15
I hereby quote wikipedia. " In the Caribbean, a variety of the sweet potato called the boniato is very popular. The flesh of the boniato is cream-coloured, unlike the more popular orange hue seen in other varieties. Boniatos are not as sweet and moist as other sweet potatoes, but many people prefer their fluffier consistency and more delicate flavor. Boniatos have been grown throughout the subtropical world for centuries, but became an important commercial crop in Florida in recent years."

That sounds like your "chestnut" Sweet Potato! Ask for "Boniatos!" :D
Posted by: BTypeAUS, Monday, October 11, 2010, 12:48am; Reply: 16
I love roasted sweet potatoes...I brush them with olive oil, add spices and roast them in the oven. They are great with roast lamb (both foods highly beneficial for B's)
Posted by: KimonoKat, Monday, October 11, 2010, 1:04am; Reply: 17
Here are two varieties of what we call "white" sweet potatoes.  The inside is a cream color.



I've also tried the burgundy colored skin sweet potato. The flesh inside is even whiter.

A true "yam" is very large and completely white flesh inside.
Posted by: Sharon, Monday, October 11, 2010, 1:59am; Reply: 18
I love sweet potatoes. It's one of my top 5 favorite food ever! Sometimes I make Sweet potato pancakes... I use cooked sweet potato and beat one egg and add chopped red onion. I then fry over ghee in a pan. It's very tasty and easy.
Posted by: Victoria, Monday, October 11, 2010, 4:31pm; Reply: 19
I'm going to try that pancake recipe.  Thanks, Sharon!  :)
Posted by: O in Virginia, Monday, October 11, 2010, 4:53pm; Reply: 20
Quoted from Victoria
I'm going to try that pancake recipe.  Thanks, Sharon!  :)


That does sound good.
Posted by: san j, Monday, November 19, 2012, 2:02am; Reply: 21
There's a really nice sweet potato pancake recipe in Ottolenghi's vegetable cookbook, Plenty.
It's on page 32, and you can read it by searching, via the "Look Inside" feature at Amazon.
It's on page 32.

You'll have to adapt it for your type, but it's a sweet potato / flour / tamari, little bit of salt and sweetener, with chopped green onion and finely chopped red chilis (to your taste) batter, fried in butter / ghee.
Then they're sauced with a cooling yogurt&sour cream blend that contains lemon juice, olive oil, chopped cilantro, and salt and pepper.

If that's up your alley.
Posted by: Mickey, Monday, November 19, 2012, 3:29am; Reply: 22
Quoted Text
A true "yam" is very large and completely white flesh inside.


Does anyone know where to find true "yams" in the U.S.?.

Posted by: passionprincess, Monday, November 19, 2012, 7:21am; Reply: 23
Gillian's sweet potatoes can be found easily at Asian markets. My parents started buying purple sweet potatoes which are much more expensive but a bit sweeter. It still has the drier, mealy texture. My parents cook the sweet potatoes just like baked potatoes - wrap in foil, poke a few holes, and stick it in the oven for an hour or so.
Posted by: BluesSinger, Tuesday, November 26, 2013, 1:22am; Reply: 24
Quoted from passionprincess
Gillian's sweet potatoes can be found easily at Asian markets. My parents started buying purple sweet potatoes which are much more expensive but a bit sweeter. It still has the drier, mealy texture. My parents cook the sweet potatoes just like baked potatoes - wrap in foil, poke a few holes, and stick it in the oven for an hour or so.


I just got some of these at the organic market and they ROCK!!!!  They call them Japanese Yams
Posted by: deblynn3, Tuesday, November 26, 2013, 2:51am; Reply: 25
Quoted from GillianR





(woot) :)Everyone gives me "sweet potato" hope! Thank-you everyone. Now I am excited to hunt them down. When I find the right ones I am going to try planting some.


When you find them you can start by making slips (little plants) In US planting zone7  you need to start in March.  
Posted by: gulfcoastguy, Tuesday, November 26, 2013, 3:17am; Reply: 26
Quoted from GillianR
Thanks for all the replies.

I am certain that they were sweet potatoes.

In BC, Canada, sweet potatoes are sold this way:
orange fleshed ones are called yams (have a redder skin, as well).
pale fleshed ones are called sweet potatoes(usually a beigy-grey coloured skin).
In reality they are both from the sweet potato family.
I have never seen a true yam here.

I believe that in other parts of Canada the lighter ones are called yams and the orange ones are called sweet potatoes.

The pale fleshed ones we get now look the same as the ones we used to get and are marked the same but they taste differently.

My Mom (she has an excellent memory) says the same thing.

I will look for the Japanese sweet potatoes to try. :)

Has anyone had the drier, chestnut-tasting, not-so-sweet potato? If they still exist maybe I can grow some.

When I was in New Zealand in the 70's I really enjoyed the kumara they had there. I have never seen them here, though.

Look on sweetpotatoplant.com  for a variety called Murasaki. Though they are called Japanese sweet potatoes they were actually developed at Louisiana State University. Red peel with a yellow tinged white interior and a nutty flavor according to the description. Sorry about not posting an actual link, I haven't got the hang of doing that with a Mac and a "smart" mouse yet.
Posted by: Marc121, Tuesday, November 26, 2013, 7:14am; Reply: 27
Quoted from GillianR
Many years ago, my Mom would bake sweet potatoes. They were a pale yellow and they tasted dry and nutty...a little like chestnuts. They baked beautifully.

I can still get pale yellow sweet potatoes but they are moist and taste like the orange fleshed ones.

If I could find those chestnutty ones I would snorf down a couple right now.

Anybody get this type of sweet potato where they are?


I always do. They are the one with white flesh when uncooked. How do you cook them? Most of the time I steam mine
Posted by: Hentag, Tuesday, November 26, 2013, 9:48am; Reply: 28
Quoted from Mickey


Does anyone know where to find true "yams" in the U.S.?.



You can usually find true yams in an Asian or Indian supermarket in the U.S.  
Posted by: Seraffa, Tuesday, November 26, 2013, 2:29pm; Reply: 29
I want a source for BATATAS! oh please....I only ever had them in a bag, fried, by Terra Chips but I waaaaaant a batata so much more than a s.p. now.......even the name makes you want to chant for it. "batata, batata, batata...."
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