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Sweet Potato Test

August 28, 2012

One of the new things this season was to be sweet potatoes.

I found a sweet potato specialty farm in northwest Tennessee (The Steele Plant Company) that had two types of the “bush” variety, Vardaman and Porto Rico (and yes that is how you spell it in sweet potato circles, or misspell it if you are referring to the Caribbean island).

“Bush” or “vine-less” is a relative term as these have put out runners of maybe 6 -7 feet in every direction. It’s like saying a glowing steel furnace isn’t really that hot compared to say, the surface of the sun or something.

Anyhow a few days ago I counted back to the time I planted the slips and found that the prescribed “days to maturity” had been met (110 days) and decided to probe around and sample a couple.

With my usual logic I pulled them for the next day’s dinner and then researched to see if they needed curing or anything. Yeah, well, they do, at least according to all of the official AG bulletins. Fortunately the initial cure is best done for a week or two @ 80-90 degrees and high humidity, both of which are available in abundance in Georgia in late August. This is supposed the heal up harvest bumps and bruises and also allow creation of the enzymes responsible for forming out the sugars during the initial weeks of storage.

We decided to try one tonight, 10 days after harvest, and cut long wedges out of one of the two sacrificial tubers. The flesh of the sampled Vardaman was firm and a nice orange color as you can see below in the one picture I took:

Olive oil, salt, Rosemary, roasted 16 minutes @400 degrees on convection. Good stuff.

Last night I poked around in the same area of the original grave robbing and pulled this one (also a Vardaman), which was many times larger than the first two, phone included for scale:

(Yikes.)

So do I like sweet potatoes? Probably. Honestly, up to this point I’ve never acquired a craving for them, perhaps due to crossing paths with bad canned sweet potato casseroles topped with mini marshmallows along the way.
I say “probably” because these roasted fries tonight showed me some potential; they were actually pretty good, especially since I had snacked on a tater tot or two or 12 a few minutes earlier (the shame).

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. namastemama permalink
    August 28, 2012 9:27 pm

    yum and more yum. If the yield is too much you can always puree and freeze for a pie or quick bread.

  2. August 28, 2012 9:33 pm

    Bread. Hadn’t thought of that, cool.

  3. Genene permalink
    August 28, 2012 9:35 pm

    Oh MAN!! That’s so cool! I wanted to try sweet potatoes & I have a relatively short growing season and didn’t start on time…. so I put a couple of slips in the hoop house in case they can survive long enough to harvest. I’m pretty jealous right now! I LOVE sweet potatoes of all varieties & shades. Just baked like a baked potato with butter & salt is good enough for me! Fried fries, baked fries, sauteed a bit & added to a curry or soup… YUM! I’ll eat em almost anyway they come EXCEPT mushy with mini marshmallows on top. BLECH! Boil em then peel em then put some butter, brown sugar & pecans on top then warm them up again!! SO good that they’re a staple at Thanksgiving dinner for us, just like Grandma used to make.

    I LOL’d at the description: “Bush” or “vine-less” is a relative term as these have put out runners of maybe 6 -7 feet in every direction. It’s like saying a glowing steel furnace isn’t really that hot compared to say, the surface of the sun or something.

    SO funny!! Thanks for a laugh tonight, I really needed it!

    • August 28, 2012 9:59 pm

      🙂 More ideas, OK I may be able to eat these after all…….

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