The sweet potato is similar to the everyday potato in that, it is a versatile vegetable that can be made into fries, added to a soup or eaten mashed. Besides their similarities, there are great point of differences between these two.
In fact, they even come from different families: The normal potato is with the nightshades, while the sweet potato is morning glory family.
Sabine Schuster-Woldan, from a consumer advice centre in southern Germany, recommends anyone who wants to cook with sweet potatoes to buy the freshest tubers available. “You’ll know they’re fresh if they are solid, not wrinkled. And if you’re not using them right away, they’re best stored in a cool, dry, dark place, like a cellar.”
Sweet potatoes seem to be on everyone’s minds lately, popping up on menus left and right. “On one hand, it’s because people are curious and like to try something new when they go out to eat,” says Uta Korzeniewski.
On the other hand, the trend towards pairing sweet and savoury flavours has grown more popular, she adds. Sweet potatoes make an interesting contrast to heartier ingredients, for example, when mashed with chorizo and onions, or added in big, delicious chunks to a goat cheese tart.
One of the easiest ways to enjoy sweet potatoes at home is to make them into fries. Hillejan advises cooking the wedges twice to create some truly epic fries. The first step involves blanching them at 120°C, then sticking them in an oven at 180°C to get them crispy on the outside. Afterwards, sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
Japanese-style baked potatoes are also tasty and easy to make. The first step is to wash the sweet potatoes and cut them into pieces, says Korzeniewski. Brush the cut sides with sesame oil, season them, and then let cook in the oven for about 40 minutes. During the last 10 minutes, brush them all over with honey and sprinkle sesame seeds.
Feeling more ambitious? You can even make a gluten-free cake out of sweet potatoes. The boiled sweet potato gets combined with typical cake ingredients, including gluten-free flour, for a moist treat.