There are generally two camps when it comes to sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving.
Those who champion white-to-yellow fleshed spuds with tan to dusty-ivory skin, prefer the cooked texture that is fluffy and dry, somewhat akin to Russet potatoes. Others espouse the orange-fleshed varieties, their exteriors a darker reddish-brown hue with interiors that have a sweeter taste and moist-soft texture; some label these beauties “yams,” but in fact a true yam is from a different botanical group.
Some sweet potato aficionados might argue for a third contender, the purple-fleshed Asian varieties. But stateside, they aren’t as easy to track down, so for holiday feasting those easier-to-find varieties seem better contenders.
Many opt for simply oven roasting them, piercing them with the tines of a fork, then roasting them in a 350-degree oven on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet until tender. But there are many more enticing options. So, Thanksgiving revelers, if you’re committed to just one variety, there are dishes that will broaden your sweet potato horizons.
Sweet Potato 101
I spoke with Mary-Frances Heck, food writer and senior food editor at Food and Wine magazine, about her new book, “Sweet Potatoes: Roasted, Loaded, Fried and Made into Pie.” She called sweet potatoes the new “it” vegetable due to their delicious versatility and value as a nutritional superfood.
When asked which variety of these humble roots she prefers, she explained that light-fleshed varieties are great for braising because the softer orange-fleshed varieties tend to fall apart….