(Thanksgiving) vegetable of the week: Ipomoea batatas
The deliscious sweet potato. AKA kumara around the Pacific and yams in North America for some unknown reason, just as theft and murder are known here as manifest destiny, particularly appropriate to think on this Thanksgiving day.
Sweet potatoes only distantly have anything to do with real potatoes. Sweet potatoes belong to a whole ‘nother fambily (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_potato), and are not nightshades at all. They come in a whole rainbow of colors; let’s embrace them!
They hail from South America, that sweet succulent source of all tuberous wonderstuffs. But they been around a time or two. Seems they were all over the Pacific before Pizarro and the gang came on over and killed everybody (busy little bees that they were!), kinda supporting the idea that the Polynesian folks were cruising the Pacific all over for millenia before now!
Which is to say that the sweet potato was domesticated somewhere between the Yucatan and northern South America something like 5000 yrs ago, and was found in the Cook Islands 1000yrs ago, and was in New Zealand, Hawaii etc! Think about that for a second, it is awesome!!
So I must admit I have only ever eaten the tuber of this succulent little lamb, but apparently people eat the leaves too! And it’s got bee-utiful flowers to boot!!
Nutritionally (http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2666/2), if you wants Manganese, Copper or Potassium, you are in luck! It has high quality protein but not much of it. It got tons of Vitamin A and B6, so party on!
You can boil, fry, grate, mash, or roast this sukka just like it seems we do to every poor tuber. But this bad boy gives a more rounded and sweet flavor than straight up potato could ever dream. Potato is the 9 to 5 boring middle aged man of the tuber world; sweet potato is the beautiful hippy woman with grey green eyes made of soul- she has generousity and depth. Let her into your soul!