Friday, December 27, 2013

The Sweet Potato Experiment

Finally at Christmas, we cut and cooked the sweet potatoes I have had on hand for several months.  Another great feature of sweet potatoes - they keep very well in a ventilated mostly dark coolish place (like my pantry).  The labels are the names provided where the potatoes or slips were purchased, although I don't think any of them are actually yams, which is a different species.  There was not much difference between the Garnet and Jewel varieties - the skin is a little different, but the flesh is very similar.  The pale-flesh varieties - Hannah and Japanese were also similar except for the skin.  The Purple variety is more dense when cutting and is firmer, denser, and less sweet when cooked. 

We cubed the potatoes, skins and all (1/2" to 3/4"), tossed them with a little olive oil and cinnamon, and roasted on a foil-lined sheet pan at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes until soft when pricked with a fork.  A couple of tablespoons of butter were melted, and a couple of tablespoons of maple syrup stirred in.  The potatoes were removed to a serving bowl, tossed lightly with the maple butter, and eaten with gusto. 

All the potatoes held their shape well, were moist and sweet (even without the maple syrup), and can be used interchangeably in your sweet potato recipes.  The flavors were subtly different, but not a lot.  The skins on all potatoes roasted well and were tender.  The purple potatoes will need a little more moisture added to compensate for their dryer texture.  The light-fleshed varieties seem to hold their shape just a little better and were delicious.

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