Sweet Potato History:
Grown in the warm summer soil of the Southern United States, sweet potatoes were found on many plantation farms. According to the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission, the potatoes were grown in a fenced in enclosure where sweet potatoes were protected from the bitter winter snow by mounds of straw and soil. The potatoes would then sweeten under the curing hills.
During the Civil War, the sweet potato was used as a substitute for coffee. And during WWII the sweet potato was a popular staple in victory gardens - ranking second to the Irish potato among vegetable crops in the United States.
Today, sweet potatoes have become an essential part of the Thanksgiving feast. Whether they're mashed, baked, roasted, or put in a casserole, families can't seem to get enough of this sweet vegetable.
Tips on Handling Sweet Potatoes
- When buying sweet potatoes, look for firm and evenly shaped potatoes with an even skin color.
- Be sure to store your sweet potatoes in a cool, dry place.
- For freshness, use your potatoes within 2 weeks of purchase.
- Cooked sweet potatoes freeze well and will keep up to 1 year.
Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Recipes
By Sarah James at tasteofhome.com