Once sweet potatoes are gathered and sorted, they are taken to be cured. Curing is the process that helps sweet potatoes to heal from any cuts, bruises or places where the skin has been removed on accident.
Sweet potatoes don’t get ripe like other crops. They will continue growing as long as the plant has green leaves 120 to 150 days after harvesting.
It takes six to eight weeks after harvest for sweet potatoes to reach their peak sweetness when baked.
Once cooked, sweet potato skins are easily removed by peeling away.
Sweet potatoes are more nutritious if cooked with the skin on.
Fresh sweet potatoes should be cooked within a week or two of being purchased.
Fresh sweet potatoes can be stored for up to a month.
When using candid yams, add them at the end of the recipe because they are already pre-cooked
When grilling sweet potatoes, metal skewers are a must because it will cook the inside of the vegetable and speed up the cooking time.
One cup of sweet potatoes = medium sized, cooked fresh sweet potato
Sweet potatoes should not be refrigerated unless cooked.
Store at 55 degrees to 65 degrees F.
Always use a stainless steel knife when cutting a sweet potato, using a carbon blade will cause the yam to darken.
It helped Louisiana’s sweet potato industry contribute a value of more than $151 million to the state’s economy in 2003.
Sweet potatoes are roots.
Potatoes are tubers.
African slaves called sweet potatoes “nyami” because it reminded them of the starchy, edible tuber of the name that grew in their homeland. The Senegalese word “nyami” was shortened to “yam.”
The Beauregard has a sweet, rich flavor, bakes well and is disease-resistant.
In 1987, Dr. Larry Ralston, an entomologist with LSU Agriculture Center’s research branch developed a more insect-resistant sweet potato and named it Beauregard.
Sweet potatoes were grown in Peru as early as 750 B.C.
George Washington, the first US President, was a sweet potato farmer
Approximately 4.2 pounds of sweet potatoes are consumed annually in the U.S.
In 1910, the U.S. Census Bureau’s agriculture statistics showed that there were more than 55,000 acres planted with sweet potatoes in Louisiana. In 2004, there was approximately 20,000 acres.
A bad crop of cotton turned farmers in south Louisiana to sweet potatoes as a cash crop in the 1930’s.
Louisiana produced 20.3% of annual US production of sweet potatoes.
Louisiana sweet potato farmers started using the term “yam” several decades ago as a national marketing tool to help distinguish their variety from those grown on the East Coast.
Native Americans were already growing sweet potatoes when Columbus arrived to America in 1492.
Both Louis XV’s and Empress Josephine’s fondness of the sweet potato encouraged two short periods of popularity in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
Sweet potatoes have been growing in the South since as early as 1648.
In 2004, 98,300 acres of sweet potatoes were planted across the nation.
February is National Potato Lovers Month!
Sweet potatoes are stored in temperature and humidity controlled warehouses that extend the life shelf for the entire year. Season for fresh sweet potatoes is 12 months.