Have you heard of the Sweet Potato Man at the market? If not you will. I call Wendell, one of our vendors at the Farmers Market, “The Sweet Potato Man” and the reason I do that is because he grows the sweetest and biggest sweet potatoes this side of the Mississippi. The size of the sweet potatoes is ginormous measuring up to 39 pounds or bigger. He has set a new worlds record with that one potato but don’t fret because the bigger the potato the sweeter it is. Yup you heard me right with Wendell’s sweet potatoes Bigger is Better. Sweet potatoes are very nutritious and I think they should be classified as one of those comfort foods.
Wendell has a special process where he grows his potatoes and they are started early in January so they get a jump on everyone else. I am not sure exactly how he pampers his plants but they always perform really well and produce extra large sweet potatoes. Besides that Wendell will not divulge his secrets to growing his plants.
Last summer I bought this one potato and canned several pint jars with the little jewel. Now I can’t remember how much this guy weighed but it stretched from one side of my stove to the other side. I think it was either 7 or 8 lbs. I thought it might not have much flavor but boy was I wrong.
When I serve sweet potatoes I usually like mine flavored with lots of butter, brown sugar and a bit of cinnamon. When I fixed my first jar, I loaded it up with lots of all that awful stuff and what I should of done was taste the potato first to see how much was needed. I ended up scooping some of the brown sugar off because it was way too sweet.
Other ways to cook these jewels is to par boil them and then roast them in the oven. I like to do a combination of small red potatoes and sweet and I leave the peelings on the red potatoes because that is where all the nutrition is located. Once you have par boiled the potatoes, toss to cover in Olive oil and sprinkle sea salt and pepper on and bake at 400 degrees until nice an brown and crispy. You have to turn the potaoes about every 10 -15 minutes to get that browning effect.
Well, until next time we might talk about all the varieties of vegetables you can get at the farmers market this summer. Meanwhile, think Spring and Farmers Market.