The Farm Stand: How to Cook Sweet Potatoes

October 23, 2013 | By | Comments (1)
orange glazed sweet potatoes sl x The Farm Stand: How to Cook Sweet Potatoes

Photo by Iain Bagwell

Welcome back to The Farm Stand, your weekly guide to seasonal Southern produce. Us Southerners love our sweet ‘taters. In fact, we sometimes even imagine a world where they walk amongst us in cowboy boots and bikinis. From Gleason, Tennessee (Tater Town, USA) to Opelousas, Louisiana, the sweet potato is exulted with weekend festivals and even a “Yambilee.”

Sweet potatoes have come a long way from favored crop among French and Spanish Settlers and Great Depression staple to holiday tradition and restaurant menu feature. Whether they’re pocketed into ravioli or blanketed with mini marshmallows, there’s no wrong way to enjoy them.

Sweet Potato Points

  • While there are specific varieties like Garnet and Jewel and the color of their flesh can vary from butter-colored to magenta, yam and sweet potato are interchangeable terms in the U.S.
  • Sweet potatoes have over 4 times your daily value of Vitamin A and 37 percent of your Vitamin C intake, which makes drizzling melted butter over them a bit easier than it already is.
  • Like many Southerners, sweet potatoes don’t like the cold. Keep them out of the fridge and place them in a ventilated basket or on the counter to preserve their taste and texture.
  • Keeping sweet potatoes out of the fridge will also prevent their centers from becoming tough. If you are trying to slice a hard-core spud, place your weight on the front end of the knife at an angle and glide it towards yourself. Avoid chopping in a straight downward motion with your weight on the center of the knife if you would also like the avoid bodily harm.

What to Make

After you make our Sliced Sweet Potato Pie from our November issue, try these 18 sweet potato recipes.


  1. Felicia

    I have the best memories ever of my grandmother making us twice baked sweet potatoes, not to mention the sweet potatoe casserole at Thanksgiving. It was great comfort food. Now i dont have time to cook, and when i want comfort food i just head over to Nino’s

    October 25, 2013 at 3:24 pm