Memories and healthy recipes for your dinner table.

Tag: history

The History and Many Uses of Lemons

Art Work by: Franz Eugen Köhler No one is for certain where exactly the vitamin packed “Golden Apple”, as the natives of Northern India often referred to lemons, came from.  Lemons are believed to have originally come from India and China. Those in Northern India […]

Cilantro

The Coriander plant originated in 5,000 BC Greece, where it was first cultivated and used as a spice to flavor meats and breads. Its popularity grew throughout the Asian, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions as its medical and culinary properties began to gain appeal.  By […]

You Say Sweet Potato, I Say Sweet Potatoe

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes were originally cultivated in Mexico and Central and South America. Columbus discovered the sweet potato during one of his voyages to the West Indies. Spain eventually cultivated the potato resulting in a profitable business with France and England. The Portuguese are responsible for carrying sweet potatoes to Asia and Africa where they remain an important staple of the diet even today.

When I started writing this post my goal was to clear up a common misconception about sweet potatoes. Whole Foods Market among others insist yams are considered a sweet potato. However; chef’s on the opposing side of the debate heatedly disagree that not all sweet potatoes are considered equal. So, who is right?

Apparently the term ‘yam’ is used loosely in the United States to differentiate between the white and orange varieties. Yet, they are all sweet potatoes.  The colorings of flesh ranges from white to brown, orange and purple. True yams are from Africa, are very starchy, not sweet and grow as large as 100 pounds.

So how do you know which garden variety to use when a recipe calls for sweet potatoes? Generally, white sweet potatoes are best for baking while the orange flesh potatoes are better mashed or in soups.