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About sweet potato

About Sweet Potato

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Sweet Potato in their many varieties are a highly nutritious food, easy to prepare, heavenly tasting, and extremely versatile on any menu. Yet, they are undervalued, ignored, and underappreciated. Some people enjoy the wonderful flavor and health benefits of sweet potatoes year round, but for many families sweet potatoes appear on the table at Thanksgiving and only then. We know of some folks who have never even eaten a sweet potato.

Sweet potatoes were actually born in Mexico, Central, and South America, as well as the West Indies. Their botanical name, Ipomoca batata, was derived from the American Indians of Louisiana who were growing them in native gardens as early as 1540. The Indians referred to sweet potatoes as batatas.

In his first voyage to the West Indies Columbus discovered many new foods which he brought back to Spain. Sweet potatoes were among his ship’s treasures. The Spanish relished them and began cultivating them immediately. Soon they were profitably exporting them to England where they were included in spice pies to be devoured at the court of Henry VIII.

The French, not to be outdone, planted them at the request of Louis XV. They were favored in France only until his death and then lost popularity for thirty years until the Empress Josephine, who was from Martinique, craved them. It was then that sweet potatoes again became trendy in Paris restaurants for a time, but once more fell into obscurity. It was the Portuguese who carried Sweet Potatoes to Asia and Africa where they have become an important staple of the diet even today.

There are two major varieties of sweet potatoes, the yellow, drier, more mealy kind with lighter beige colored skins, and the orange, more moist, sweeter ones with reddish skins that are usually called «yams.» True yams, however, are nothing like the sweet potato, but are a tuber native to Africa, very starchy, not very sweet, and grow as large as 100 pounds. For more details visit http://www.indomunch.com/

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