Sweet potato

The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the bindweed or morning glory family, Convolvulaceae. Its large, starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots are a root vegetable.[1][2] The young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens. The sweet potato is only distantly related to the potato (Solanum tuberosum) and does not belong to the nightshade family, Solanaceae, but both families belong to the same taxonomic order, the Solanales.

The plant is a herbaceous perennial vine, bearing alternate heart-shaped or palmately lobed leaves and medium-sized sympetalous flowers. The edible tuberous root is long and tapered, with a smooth skin whose color ranges between yellow, orange, red, brown, purple, and beige. Its flesh ranges from beige through white, red, pink, violet, yellow, orange, and purple. Sweet potato cultivars with white or pale yellow flesh are less sweet and moist than those with red, pink or orange flesh.[3]

Ipomoea batatas is native to the tropical regions in the Americas.[4][5] Of the approximately 50 genera and more than 1,000 species of Convolvulaceae, I. batatas is the only crop plant of major importance—some others are used locally (e.g., I. aquatica "kangkong"), but many are poisonous. The genus Ipomoea that contains the sweet potato also includes several garden flowers called morning glories, though that term is not usually extended to Ipomoea batatas. Some cultivars of Ipomoea batatas are grown as ornamental plants under the name tuberous morning glory, used in a horticultural context.

The sweet potato is often called a "yam" in parts of North America, but is botanically very distinct from the botanical yams.

Sweet potato
Ipomoea batatas (Sweet Potato) Flower
Sweet potato flower in Hong Kong
Several elongated reddish brown tubers
Sweet potato tubers
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Solanales
Family: Convolvulaceae
Genus: Ipomoea
Species:
I. batatas
Binomial name
Ipomoea batatas

Naming

Although the soft, orange sweet potato is often called a "yam" in parts of North America, the sweet potato is very distinct from the botanical yam (Dioscorea), which is native to Africa and Asia and belongs to the monocot family Dioscoreaceae. To add to the confusion, a different crop plant, the oca (Oxalis tuberosa, a species of wood sorrel), is called a "yam" in many parts of Polynesia, including New Zealand.

Although the sweet potato is not closely related botanically to the common potato, they have a shared etymology. The first Europeans to taste sweet potatoes were members of Christopher Columbus's expedition in 1492. Later explorers found many cultivars under an assortment of local names, but the name which stayed was the indigenous Taino name of batata. The Spanish combined this with the Quechua word for potato, papa, to create the word patata for the common potato.

In Argentina, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic the sweet potato is called batata. In Mexico, Peru, Chile, Central America, and the Philippines, the sweet potato is known as camote (alternatively spelled kamote in the Philippines), derived from the Nahuatl word camotli.[6]

In Peru, the Quechua name for a type of sweet potato is kumar, strikingly similar to the Polynesian name kumara and its regional Oceanic cognates (kumala, umala,  'uala, etc.), which has led some scholars to suspect an instance of pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact.

In New Zealand, the original Māori varieties bore elongated tubers with white skin and a whitish flesh;[7] however, the most common cultivar now is the red (purple) cultivar called kumara (now spelled kūmara in the Māori language), but orange ('Beauregard') and gold cultivars are also available.[8] Kumara is particularly popular as a roasted food, often served with sour cream and sweet chili sauce. In Australia, shops will occasionally label purple cultivars as "purple sweet potato" to denote the difference to the other cultivars. About 95% of Australia's production is of the orange cultivar named 'Beauregard', originally from North America, known simply as "sweet potato".

History, origin, distribution, and diversity

Origin

The origin and domestication of sweet potato occurred in either Central or South America.[9] In Central America, domesticated sweet potatoes were present at least 5,000 years ago,[10] with the origin of I. batatas possibly between the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico and the mouth of the Orinoco River in Venezuela.[11] The cultigen was most likely spread by local people to the Caribbean and South America by 2500 BCE.[12][a]

The sweet potato was grown in Polynesia before western exploration as the Ipomoea batatas, which is generally spread by vine cuttings rather than by seeds.[15] Sweet potato has been radiocarbon-dated in the Cook Islands to 1400 CE.[7] A common hypothesis is that a vine cutting was brought to central Polynesia by Polynesians who had traveled to South America and back, and spread from there across Polynesia to Easter Island, Hawaii and New Zealand.[16][17][7] Divergence time estimates suggest that sweet potatoes might have been present in Polynesia thousands of years before humans arrived there,[18][19] although other reports dispute this.[20][7]

Dispersal in historical times

Sweet potatoes were first introduced to the Philippines during the Spanish colonial period (1521-1598) via the Manila galleons, along with other New World crops.[21] It was introduced to the Fujian province of China in about 1594 from Luzon, in response to a major crop failure. The growing of sweet potatoes was encouraged by the Governor Chin Hsüeh-tseng (Jin Xuezeng).[22]

Sweet potatoes were also introduced to Okinawa, Japan, in the early 1600s by the Portuguese.[23][24][25] Sweet potatoes became a staple in Japan because they were important in preventing famine when rice harvests were poor.[25][26] Sweet potatoes were later planted in Shōgun Tokugawa Yoshimune's private garden.[27] It was also introduced to Korea in 1764.[28]

The sweet potato arrived in Europe with the Columbian exchange. It is recorded, for example, in Elinor Fettiplace's Receipt Book, compiled in England in 1604.[29][30]

Transgenicity

The genome of cultivated sweet potatoes contains sequences of DNA from Agrobacterium, with genes actively expressed by the plants.[31] Transgenes were observed both in closely related wild relatives of the sweet potato, and in more distantly related wild species.[31] Studies indicated that the sweet potato genome evolved over millennia, with eventual domestication of the crop taking advantage of natural genetic modifications.[31] These observations make sweet potatoes the first known example of a naturally transgenic food crop.[31][32]

Cultivation

Raw sweet potato
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy359 kJ (86 kcal)
20.1 g
Starch12.7 g
Sugars4.2 g
Dietary fiber3 g
0.1 g
1.6 g
VitaminsQuantity %DV
Vitamin A equiv.
89%
709 μg
79%
8509 μg
Thiamine (B1)
7%
0.078 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
5%
0.061 mg
Niacin (B3)
4%
0.557 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5)
16%
0.8 mg
Vitamin B6
16%
0.209 mg
Folate (B9)
3%
11 μg
Vitamin C
3%
2.4 mg
Vitamin E
2%
0.26 mg
MineralsQuantity %DV
Calcium
3%
30 mg
Iron
5%
0.61 mg
Magnesium
7%
25 mg
Manganese
12%
0.258 mg
Phosphorus
7%
47 mg
Potassium
7%
337 mg
Sodium
4%
55 mg
Zinc
3%
0.3 mg

"Sweet potato". USDA Database.
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

The plant does not tolerate frost. It grows best at an average temperature of 24 °C (75 °F), abundant sunshine and warm nights. Annual rainfalls of 750–1,000 mm (30–39 in) are considered most suitable, with a minimum of 500 mm (20 in) in the growing season. The crop is sensitive to drought at the tuber initiation stage 50–60 days after planting, and it is not tolerant to water-logging, as it may cause tuber rots and reduce growth of storage roots if aeration is poor.[33]

Depending on the cultivar and conditions, tuberous roots mature in two to nine months. With care, early-maturing cultivars can be grown as an annual summer crop in temperate areas, such as the Eastern United States and China. Sweet potatoes rarely flower when the daylight is longer than 11 hours, as is normal outside of the tropics. They are mostly propagated by stem or root cuttings or by adventitious shoots called "slips" that grow out from the tuberous roots during storage. True seeds are used for breeding only.

They grow well in many farming conditions and have few natural enemies; pesticides are rarely needed. Sweet potatoes are grown on a variety of soils, but well-drained, light- and medium-textured soils with a pH range of 4.5–7.0 are more favorable for the plant.[2] They can be grown in poor soils with little fertilizer. However, sweet potatoes are very sensitive to aluminum toxicity and will die about six weeks after planting if lime is not applied at planting in this type of soil.[2] Because they are sown by vine cuttings rather than seeds, sweet potatoes are relatively easy to plant. Because the rapidly growing vines shade out weeds, little weeding is needed. A commonly used herbicide to rid the soil of any unwelcome plants that may interfere with growth is DCPA, also known as Dacthal. In the tropics, the crop can be maintained in the ground and harvested as needed for market or home consumption. In temperate regions, sweet potatoes are most often grown on larger farms and are harvested before first frosts.

In the Southeastern United States, sweet potatoes are traditionally cured to improve storage, flavor, and nutrition, and to allow wounds on the periderm of the harvested root to heal.[34] Proper curing requires drying the freshly dug roots on the ground for two to three hours, then storage at 29–32 °C (85–90 °F) with 90 to 95% relative humidity from five to fourteen days. Cured sweet potatoes can keep for thirteen months when stored at 13–15 °C (55–59 °F) with >90% relative humidity. Colder temperatures injure the roots.[35][36]

Production and yield

Sweet potato production – 2016
Country Production (millions of tonnes)
 China
70.6
 Nigeria
3.9
 Tanzania
3.8
 Indonesia
2.3
 Uganda
2.1
 Ethiopia
1.9
World
105.2
Source: FAOSTAT of the United Nations[37][38][39]
Sweet potatoes, Padangpanjang
Sweet potatoes with different skin colors

In 2016, global production of sweet potatoes was 105 million tonnes, led by China with 67% of the world total (table).

In 2016, the world average annual yield for sweet potato crop was 13 tonnes per hectare. The most productive yield of sweet potatoes was in Senegal, where the nationwide average annual yield was 39 tonnes per hectare.[37]

Sweet potatoes are cultivated throughout tropical and warm temperate regions wherever there is sufficient water to support their growth.[40] Sweet potatoes became common as a food crop in the islands of the Pacific Ocean, South India, Uganda and other African countries.

A cultivar of the sweet potato called the boniato is grown in the Caribbean; its flesh is cream-colored, unlike the more common orange hue seen in other cultivars. Boniatos are not as sweet and moist as other sweet potatoes, but their consistency and delicate flavor are different than the common orange-colored sweet potato.

Sweet potatoes have been a part of the diet in the United States for most of its history, especially in the Southeast. The average per capita consumption of sweet potatoes in the United States is only about 1.5–2 kg (3.3–4.4 lb) per year, down from 13 kg (29 lb) in 1920. “Orange sweet potatoes (the most common type encountered in the US) received higher appearance liking scores compared with yellow or purple cultivars.”[41] Purple and yellow sweet potatoes were not as well liked by consumers compared to orange sweet potatoes “possibly because of the familiarity of orange color that is associated with sweet potatoes.”[41]

Diseases

Nutrient content

Sweet potato, cooked, baked in skin, without salt
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy378 kJ (90 kcal)
20.7 g
Starch7.05 g
Sugars6.5 g
Dietary fiber3.3 g
0.15 g
2.0 g
VitaminsQuantity %DV
Vitamin A equiv.
120%
961 μg
Thiamine (B1)
10%
0.11 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
9%
0.11 mg
Niacin (B3)
10%
1.5 mg
Vitamin B6
22%
0.29 mg
Folate (B9)
2%
6 μg
Vitamin C
24%
19.6 mg
Vitamin E
5%
0.71 mg
MineralsQuantity %DV
Calcium
4%
38 mg
Iron
5%
0.69 mg
Magnesium
8%
27 mg
Manganese
24%
0.5 mg
Phosphorus
8%
54 mg
Potassium
10%
475 mg
Sodium
2%
36 mg
Zinc
3%
0.32 mg

"Sweet potato". USDA Database.
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Besides simple starches, raw sweet potatoes are rich in complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber and beta-carotene (a provitamin A carotenoid), with moderate contents of other micronutrients, including vitamin B5, vitamin B6 and manganese (table).[42] When cooked by baking, small variable changes in micronutrient density occur to include a higher content of vitamin C at 24% of the Daily Value per 100 g serving (right table).[43][44]

The Center for Science in the Public Interest ranked the nutritional value of sweet potatoes as highest among several other foods.[45] In addition, their leaves are edible and can be prepared like spinach or turnip greens.[46]

Sweet potato cultivars with dark orange flesh have more beta-carotene than those with light-colored flesh, and their increased cultivation is being encouraged in Africa where vitamin A deficiency is a serious health problem. A 2012 study of 10,000 households in Uganda found that children eating beta-carotene enriched sweet potatoes suffered less vitamin A deficiency than those not consuming as much beta-carotene.[47]

Comparison to other food staples

The table below presents the relative performance of sweet potato (in column [G]) to other staple foods. While sweet potato provides less edible energy and protein per unit weight than cereals, it has higher nutrient density than cereals.[48]

According to a study by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, sweet potatoes are the most efficient staple food to grow in terms of farmland, yielding approximately 70,000 kcal/ha d.[49]

Nutrient content of 10 major staple foods per 100 g portion,[50] in order of rank
Nutrient Maize (corn)[A] Rice, white[B] Wheat[C] Potatoes[D] Cassava[E] Soybeans, green[F] Sweet potatoes[G] Yams[Y] Sorghum[H] Plantain[Z] RDA
Water (g) 10 12 13 79 60 68 77 70 9 65 3,000
Energy (kJ) 1,528 1,528 1,369 322 670 615 360 494 1,419 511 8,368–10,460
Protein (g) 9.4 7.1 12.6 2.0 1.4 13.0 1.6 1.5 11.3 1.3 50
Fat (g) 4.74 0.66 1.54 0.09 0.28 6.8 0.05 0.17 3.3 0.37 44–77
Carbohydrates (g) 74 80 71 17 38 11 20 28 75 32 130
Fiber (g) 7.3 1.3 12.2 2.2 1.8 4.2 3 4.1 6.3 2.3 30
Sugar (g) 0.64 0.12 0.41 0.78 1.7 0 4.18 0.5 0 15 minimal
Minerals [A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [Y] [H] [Z] RDA
Calcium (mg) 7 28 29 12 16 197 30 17 28 3 1,000
Iron (mg) 2.71 0.8 3.19 0.78 0.27 3.55 0.61 0.54 4.4 0.6 8
Magnesium (mg) 127 25 126 23 21 65 25 21 0 37 400
Phosphorus (mg) 210 115 288 57 27 194 47 55 287 34 700
Potassium (mg) 287 115 363 421 271 620 337 816 350 499 4,700
Sodium (mg) 35 5 2 6 14 15 55 9 6 4 1,500
Zinc (mg) 2.21 1.09 2.65 0.29 0.34 0.99 0.3 0.24 0 0.14 11
Copper (mg) 0.31 0.22 0.43 0.11 0.10 0.13 0.15 0.18 - 0.08 0.9
Manganese (mg) 0.49 1.09 3.99 0.15 0.38 0.55 0.26 0.40 - - 2.3
Selenium (μg) 15.5 15.1 70.7 0.3 0.7 1.5 0.6 0.7 0 1.5 55
Vitamins [A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [Y] [H] [Z] RDA
Vitamin C (mg) 0 0 0 19.7 20.6 29 2.4 17.1 0 18.4 90
Thiamin (B1) (mg) 0.39 0.07 0.30 0.08 0.09 0.44 0.08 0.11 0.24 0.05 1.2
Riboflavin (B2) (mg) 0.20 0.05 0.12 0.03 0.05 0.18 0.06 0.03 0.14 0.05 1.3
Niacin (B3) (mg) 3.63 1.6 5.46 1.05 0.85 1.65 0.56 0.55 2.93 0.69 16
Pantothenic acid (B5) (mg) 0.42 1.01 0.95 0.30 0.11 0.15 0.80 0.31 - 0.26 5
Vitamin B6 (mg) 0.62 0.16 0.3 0.30 0.09 0.07 0.21 0.29 - 0.30 1.3
Folate Total (B9) (μg) 19 8 38 16 27 165 11 23 0 22 400
Vitamin A (IU) 214 0 9 2 13 180 14,187 138 0 1,127 5,000
Vitamin E, alpha-tocopherol (mg) 0.49 0.11 1.01 0.01 0.19 0 0.26 0.39 0 0.14 15
Vitamin K1 (μg) 0.3 0.1 1.9 1.9 1.9 0 1.8 2.6 0 0.7 120
Beta-carotene (μg) 97 0 5 1 8 0 8,509 83 0 457 10,500
Lutein+zeaxanthin (μg) 1,355 0 220 8 0 0 0 0 0 30 6,000
Fats [A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [Y] [H] [Z] RDA
Saturated fatty acids (g) 0.67 0.18 0.26 0.03 0.07 0.79 0.02 0.04 0.46 0.14 minimal
Monounsaturated fatty acids (g) 1.25 0.21 0.2 0.00 0.08 1.28 0.00 0.01 0.99 0.03 22–55
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (g) 2.16 0.18 0.63 0.04 0.05 3.20 0.01 0.08 1.37 0.07 13–19
[A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [Y] [H] [Z] RDA

A raw yellow dent corn
B raw unenriched long-grain white rice
C raw hard red winter wheat
D raw potato with flesh and skin
E raw cassava
F raw green soybeans
G raw sweet potato
H raw sorghum
Y raw yam
Z raw plantains
/* unofficial

Culinary uses

Although the leaves and shoots are also edible, the starchy tuberous roots are by far the most important product. In some tropical areas, they are a staple food crop.

Africa

Amukeke (sun-dried slices of root) and inginyo (sun-dried crushed root) are a staple food for people in northeastern Uganda.[51] Amukeke is mainly served for breakfast, eaten with peanut sauce. Inginyo is mixed with cassava flour and tamarind to make atapa. People eat atapa with smoked fish cooked in peanut sauce or with dried cowpea leaves cooked in peanut sauce. Emukaru (earth-baked root) is eaten as a snack anytime and is mostly served with tea or with peanut sauce. Similar uses are also found in South Sudan.

The young leaves and vine tips of sweet potato leaves are widely consumed as a vegetable in West African countries (Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, for example), as well as in northeastern Uganda, East Africa.[51] According to FAO leaflet No. 13 - 1990, sweet potato leaves and shoots are a good source of vitamins A, C, and B2 (riboflavin), and according to research done by A. Khachatryan, are an excellent source of lutein.

In Kenya, Rhoda Nungo of the home economics department of the Ministry of Agriculture has written a guide to using sweet potatoes in modern recipes.[52] This includes uses both in the mashed form and as flour from the dried tubers to replace part of the wheat flour and sugar in baked products such as cakes, chapatis, mandazis, bread, buns and cookies. A nutritious juice drink is made from the orange-fleshed cultivars, and deep-fried snacks are also included.

In Egypt, sweet potato tubers are known as "batata" (بطاطا) and are a common street food in winter, when street vendors with carts fitted with ovens sell them to people passing time by the Nile or the sea. The cultivars used are an orange-fleshed one as well as a white/cream-fleshed one. They are also baked at home as a snack or dessert, drenched with honey.

In Ethiopia, the commonly found cultivars are black-skinned, cream-fleshed and called "bitatis" or "mitatis". They are cultivated in the eastern and southern lower highlands and harvested during the rainy season (June/July). In recent years, better yielding orange-fleshed cultivars were released for cultivation by Haramaya University as a less sugary sweet potato with higher vitamin A content.[53] Sweet potatoes are widely eaten boiled as a favored snack.

Asia

Jjin-goguma
Jjin-goguma (steamed sweet potatoes)
Gungoguma (roasted sweet potatoes) 2
gungoguma, roasted sweet potatoes
Gungoguma drum can (sweet potato roaster) 2
"gungoguma drum" for roasting sweet potatoes
Goguma-mattang
Goguma-mattang (candied sweet potatoes)
Sweet potato flaky pastry
Japanese pastry
SweetpotatoTongsui
Tong sui, a sweet potato-based soup popular in China during winter.
Shochu2
Bottle and two cartons of Japanese sweet potato shōchū spirits.

In East Asia, roasted sweet potatoes are popular street food. In China, sweet potatoes, typically yellow cultivars, are baked in a large iron drum and sold as street food during winter. In Korea, sweet potatoes, known as goguma, are roasted in a drum can, baked in foil or on an open fire, typically during winter. In Japan, a dish similar to the Korean preparation is called yaki-imo (roasted sweet potato), which typically uses either the yellow-fleshed "Japanese sweet potato" or the purple-fleshed "Okinawan sweet potato", which is known as beni-imo.

Sweet potato soup, served during winter, consists of boiling sweet potato in water with rock sugar and ginger. Sweet potato greens are a common side dish in Taiwanese cuisine, often boiled or sautéed and served with a garlic and soy sauce mixture, or simply salted before serving. They, as well as dishes featuring the sweet potato root, are commonly found at bento (Pe̍h-ōe-jī: piān-tong) restaurants. In northeastern Chinese cuisine, sweet potatoes are often cut into chunks and fried, before being drenched into a pan of boiling syrup.[54]

In some regions of India, sweet potato is roasted slow over kitchen coals at night and eaten with some dressing while the easier way in the south is simply boiling or pressure cooking before peeling, cubing and seasoning for a vegetable dish as part of the meal. In Indian state of Tamil Nadu, it is known as 'Sakkara valli Kilangu'. It is boiled and consumed as evening snack. In some parts of India, fresh sweet potato is chipped, dried and then ground into flour; this is then mixed with wheat flour and baked into chapattis (bread). Between 15 and 20 percent of sweet potato harvest is converted by some Indian communities into pickles and snack chips. A part of the tuber harvest is used in India as cattle fodder.[3]

In Pakistan, sweet potato is known as shakarqandi and is cooked as vegetable dish and also with meat dishes (chicken, mutton or beef). The ash roasted sweet potatoes are sold as a snack and street food in Pakistani bazaars especially during the winter months.[55]

In Sri Lanka, it is called 'Bathala' and tubers are used mainly for breakfast (boiled sweet potato commonly with sambal or grated coconut) or as an supplementary curry dish for rice. There are many other culinary uses with sweet potato as well.

The tubers of this plant, known as kattala in Dhivehi, have been used in the traditional diet of the Maldives. The leaves were finely chopped and used in dishes such as mas huni.[56]

In Japan, both sweet potatoes (called "satsuma-imo") and true purple yams (called "daijo" or "beni-imo") are grown. Boiling, roasting and steaming are the most common cooking methods. Also, the use in vegetable tempura is common. Daigaku-imo is a baked sweet potato dessert. Because it is sweet and starchy, it is used in imo-kinton and some other traditional sweets, such as ofukuimo. Shōchū, a Japanese spirit normally made from the fermentation of rice, can also be made from sweet potato, in which case it is called imo-jōchū. Imo-gohan, sweet potato cooked with rice, is popular in Guangdong, Taiwan and Japan. It is also served in nimono or nitsuke, boiled and typically flavored with soy sauce, mirin and dashi.

In Korean cuisine, sweet potato starch is used to produce dangmyeon (cellophane noodles). Sweet potatoes are also boiled, steamed, or roasted, and young stems are eaten as namul. Pizza restaurants such as Pizza Hut and Domino's in Korea are using sweet potatoes as a popular topping. Sweet potatoes are also used in the distillation of a variety of Soju.

In Malaysia and Singapore, sweet potato is often cut into small cubes and cooked with taro and coconut milk (santan) to make a sweet dessert called bubur caca or "bubur cha cha". A favorite way of cooking sweet potato is deep frying slices of sweet potato in batter, and served as a tea-time snack. In homes, sweet potatoes are usually boiled. The leaves of sweet potatoes are usually stir-fried with only garlic or with sambal belacan and dried shrimp by Malaysians.

Camote tops (talbos ng kamote)
Camote tops, a Philippine salad made from young sweet potato leaves (talbos ng kamote)

In the Philippines, sweet potatoes (locally known as camote or kamote) are an important food crop in rural areas. They are often a staple among impoverished families in provinces, as they are easier to cultivate and cost less than rice.[57] The tubers are boiled or baked in coals and may be dipped in sugar or syrup. Young leaves and shoots (locally known as talbos ng kamote or camote tops) are eaten fresh in salads with shrimp paste (bagoong alamang) or fish sauce. They can be cooked in vinegar and soy sauce and served with fried fish (a dish known as adobong talbos ng kamote), or with recipes such as sinigang.[57] The stew obtained from boiling camote tops is purple-colored, and is often mixed with lemon as juice. Sweet potatoes are also sold as street food in suburban and rural areas. Fried sweet potatoes coated with caramelized sugar and served in skewers (camote cue) are popular afternoon snacks.[58] Sweet potatoes are also used in a variant of halo-halo called ginatan, where they are cooked in coconut milk and sugar and mixed with a variety of rootcrops, sago, jackfruit, and bilu-bilo (glutinous rice balls).[59] Bread made from sweet potato flour is also gaining popularity. Sweet potato is relatively easy to propagate, and in rural areas that can be seen abundantly at canals and dikes. The uncultivated plant is usually fed to pigs.

In Indonesia, sweet potatoes are locally known as ubi jalar (lit: spreading tuber) and are frequently fried with batter and served as snacks with spicy condiments, along with other kinds of fritters such as fried bananas, tempeh, tahu, breadfruits, or cassava. In the mountainous regions of West Papua, sweet potatoes are the staple food among the natives there. Using the bakar batu way of cooking (free translation: burning rocks), rocks that have been burned in a nearby bonfire are thrown into a pit lined with leaves. Layers of sweet potatoes, an assortment of vegetables, and pork are piled on top of the rocks. The top of the pile then is insulated with more leaves, creating a pressure of heat and steam inside which cooks all food within the pile after several hours.

Young sweet potato leaves are also used as baby food particularly in Southeast Asia and East Asia.[60][61] Mashed sweet potato tubers are used similarly throughout the world.[62]

United States

Veggie burger flickr user bandita creative commons
Sweet potato fries with a vegetarian burger

Candied sweet potatoes are a side dish consisting mainly of sweet potatoes prepared with brown sugar, marshmallows, maple syrup, molasses, orange juice, marron glacé, or other sweet ingredients. It is often served in America on Thanksgiving. Sweet potato casserole is a side dish of mashed sweet potatoes in a casserole dish, topped with a brown sugar and pecan topping.[63]

The sweet potato became a favorite food item of the French and Spanish settlers and thus continued a long history of cultivation in Louisiana.[64] Sweet potatoes are recognized as the state vegetable of North Carolina.[65] Sweet potato pie is also a traditional favorite dish in Southern U.S. cuisine. Another variation on the typical sweet potato pie is the Okinawan (Sweet Potato) Haupia pie, which is made with purple sweet potatoes, native to the island of Hawaii and believed to have been originally cultivated as early as 500 CE.[66]

The fried sweet potatoes tradition dates to the early nineteenth century in the United States.[67] Sweet potato fries or chips are a common preparation, and are made by julienning and deep frying sweet potatoes, in the fashion of French fried potatoes. Roasting sliced or chopped sweet potatoes lightly coated in animal or vegetable oil at high heat became common in the United States at the start of the 21st century, a dish called “sweet potato fries”. Sweet potato mash is served as a side dish, often at Thanksgiving dinner or with barbecue.

John Buttencourt Avila is called the "father of the sweet potato industry" in North America.

New Zealand

Before European contact, the Māori grew several varieties of small, yellow-skin, finger-sized kumara (with names including taputini,[68], taroamahoe, pehu, hutihuti, and rekamaroa[69]) that they had brought with them from east Polynesia. Modern trials have shown that these smaller varieties were capable of producing well,[70] but when American whalers, sealers and trading vessels introduced larger cultivars in the early 19th century, they quickly predominated.[71][72][73][74]

Māori traditionally cooked the kūmara in a hāngi earth oven. This is still a common practice when there are large gatherings on marae.

In 1947 black rot (Ceratocystis fimbriata) appeared in kumara around Auckland and increased in severity through the 1950s.[75] A disease-free strain was developed by Joe and Fay Gock. They gifted the strain to the nation, later in 2013 earning them the Bledisloe Cup.[76]

Currently there are three main cultivars or groups of cultivar (red, orange and gold) grown in the subtropical northern part of the North Island near Dargaville[77] and widely available throughout New Zealand year-round, where they are a popular alternative to potatoes.[78] The red cultivar has dull red skin and purple-streaked white flesh, and is the most popular. The orange cultivar is the same as the American 'Beauregard'. The gold kumara has pale, yellowish skin and flesh.

Kumara are an integral part of roast meals in New Zealand. They are served alongside such vegetables as potatoes and pumpkin and, as such, are generally prepared in a savory manner. Kumara are ubiquitous in supermarkets, roast meal takeaway shops and hāngi.

Other

Among the Urapmin people of Papua New Guinea, taro (known in Urap as ima) and the sweet potato (Urap: wan) are the main sources of sustenance, and in fact the word for "food" in Urap is a compound of these two words.[79]

In Spain, sweet potato is called boniato. On the evening of All Souls' Day, in Catalonia (northeastern Spain) it is traditional to serve roasted sweet potato and chestnuts, panellets and sweet wine. The occasion is called La Castanyada.[80] Sweet potato is also appreciated to make cakes or to eat roasted through the whole country.

In Peru, sweet potatoes are called 'camote' and are frequently served alongside ceviche. Sweet potato chips are also a commonly sold snack, be it on the street or in packaged foods.

Dulce de batata is a traditional Argentine, Paraguayan and Uruguayan dessert, which is made of sweet potatoes. It is a sweet jelly, which resembles a marmalade because of its color and sweetness but it has a harder texture, and it has to be sliced in thin portions with a knife as if it was a pie. It is commonly served with a portion of the same size of soft cheese on top of it.

In the Veneto (northeast Italy), sweet potato is known as patata mericana in the Venetian language (patata americana in Italian, meaning "American potato"), and it is cultivated above all in the southern area of the region;[81] it is a traditional fall dish, boiled or roasted.

Globally, sweet potatoes are now a staple ingredient of modern sushi cuisine, specifically used in maki rolls. The advent of sweet potato as a sushi ingredient is credited to chef Bun Lai of Miya's Sushi, who first introduced sweet potato rolls in the 1990s as a plant-based alternative to traditional fish-based sushi rolls. [82][83][84]

Nonculinary uses

Camotemuseolarco
Sweet potato, Moche culture, 300 CE, Larco Museum Collection

Ceramics modeled after sweet potatoes or camotes are often found in Moche culture.[85]

In South America, the juice of red sweet potatoes is combined with lime juice to make a dye for cloth. By varying the proportions of the juices, every shade from pink to black can be obtained.[86] Purple sweet potato color is also used as a ‘natural’ food coloring.[87]

All parts of the plant are used for animal fodder.

Several selections are cultivated in gardens as ornamental plants for their attractive foliage, including the dark-leafed cultivars 'Blackie' and 'Ace of Spades' and the chartreuse-foliaged 'Margarita'.

Cuttings of sweet potato vine, either edible or ornamental cultivars, will rapidly form roots in water and will grow in it, indefinitely, in good lighting with a steady supply of nutrients. For this reason, sweet potato vine is ideal for use in home aquariums, trailing out of the water with its roots submerged, as its rapid growth is fueled by toxic ammonia and nitrates, a waste product of aquatic life, which it removes from the water. This improves the living conditions for fish, which also find refuge in the extensive root systems.

Researchers at North Carolina State University are breeding sweet potato cultivars that would be grown primarily for biofuel production.

Notes

  1. ^ In 2018, a 57 million year old Paleocene fossil leaf having the morphology of a plant from the morning glory family, from which the later-cultivated sweet potato evolved, was found in Meghalaya (northeast India), showing that the morning glory genus was present in East Gondwana (now Asia), and lending plausibility for I. batatas arising in Asia rather than the Americas.[13][14]

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External links

"Sweet Potato". fao.org. 1990. FAO Leaflet 13.

Aedia leucomelas

Aedia leucomelas, the eastern alchymist, sweet potato leaf worm or sorcerer, is a moth of the family Noctuidae. It is found in large parts of the world, ranging from Europe all over Asia up to Japan and some African countries. The subspecies Aedia leucomelas acronyctoides is found in Australia.

Agriculture in Kenya

Agriculture in Kenya dominates Kenya's economy. 15–17 percent of Kenya's total land area has sufficient fertility and rainfall to be farmed, and 7–8 percent can be classified as first-class land. In 2006, almost 75 percent of working Kenyans made their living by farming, compared with 80 percent in 1980. About one-half of Kenya's total agricultural output is non-marketed subsistence production.Agriculture is also the largest contributor to Kenya’s gross domestic product (GDP). In 2005, agriculture, including forestry and fishing, accounted for about 24 percent of the GDP, as well as 18 percent of wage employment and 50 percent of revenue from exports.Farming is the most important economic sector in Kenya, although less than 8 percent of the land is used for crop and feed production, and less than 20 percent is suitable for cultivation. Kenya is a leading producer of tea and coffee, as well as the third-leading exporter of fresh produce, such as cabbages, onions and mangoes. Small farms grow most of the corn and also produce potatoes, bananas, beans and peas.

Bedellia somnulentella

Bedellia somnulentella, the sweet potato leaf miner, is a moth in the Bedelliidae family.

Binignit

Binignit is a Visayan dessert soup from the central Philippines. The dish is traditionally made with glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk with various slices of sabá bananas, taro, and sweet potato, among other ingredients. It is comparable to various savoury and dessert guinataán (coconut milk-based) dishes found in other regions such as bilo-bilo. Among the Visayan people, the dish is traditionally served during Good Friday of the Holy Week.

Camote cue

Camote cue or camote fritter (Tagalog: Kamote kyu) is a popular snack food in the Philippines made from camote (sweet potato). Slices of camote are coated with brown sugar and then fried to cook the potatoes and to caramelize the sugar. It is one of the most common street foods in the Philippines, along with banana cue and turon.The term is a portmanteau of "camote" and "barbecue", the latter in Philippine English refers to meat cooked in a style similar to kebabs. Though served skewered on bamboo sticks, it is not cooked on the stick. The skewer is purely for easier handling as it is usually sold on the streets to passers by.

Cuisine of Equatorial Guinea

The Cuisine of Equatorial Guinea is a blend of the cuisines of the native tribes, as well as that of Spain (their colonial motherland) and Islamic states such as Morocco. Its cuisine incorporates various meats, including game & bush-meat as well as imports. Fish and chicken are common dishes. As seen in the dishes here, chilies and other spices are popular. Key ingredients in Equatoguinean cuisine come from local plants and animals, including plantains, sweet potato, bread fruit, yam, cocoyam (known locally as malanga), ground-nuts and snails.

Fried sweet potato

Fried sweet potato features in a variety of dishes and cuisines including the popular sweet potato fries, a variation of French fries using sweet potato instead of potato. Fried sweet potatoes are known as patates in Guinean cuisine, where they are more popular than potatoes and more commonly used to make fries.Recipes for fried sweet potatoes in the United States go back to the nineteenth century. Some suggest parboiling the sweet potatoes before frying, while others call for frying them with sugar.Goguma twigim is a fried sweet potato dish in Korean cuisine. Kananga phodi-tawa is a dish of lightly battered and fried sweet potato in Indian cuisine.

Golden, Texas

Golden is an unincorporated community in Wood County, Texas, at the intersection of Farm to Market Roads 1799 and 779 off U.S. Highway 69 approximately four miles northwest of the city of Mineola, in the southwestern section of Wood County.

Helcystogramma convolvuli

Helcystogramma convolvuli, the sweet potato moth, sweetpotato webworm moth, sweetpotato leaf roller or black leaf folder, is a moth of the family Gelechiidae. It is mainly found in Asia and Africa, but there are also records from Oceania, the Middle East, the Caribbean and Florida in the United States. The species is also found on the Canary Islands and Madeira.

The wingspan is 13–15 mm. The forewings are dark tawny fuscous. The hindwings are brownish grey.The larvae feed on Convolvulaceae species, including Ipomoea batatas, Convolvulus arvensis, Merremia quinquefolia and Ipomoea aquatica. First instar larvae create a tunnel of silk along the leaf vein and feeds underneath on the surface tissue. The second instar larvae move to the upper leaf surface and fold the leaf, feeding within the fold until the green tissues are consumed, when it moves to another leaf.

Ipomoea pandurata

Ipomoea pandurata, known as man of the earth, wild potato vine, manroot, wild sweet potato, and wild rhubarb, is a species of herbaceous perennial vine native to North America. It is a twining plant of woodland verges and rough places with heart-shaped leaves and funnel-shaped white flowers with a pinkish throat. The large tuberous roots can be roasted and eaten, or can be used to make a poultice or infusion. When uncooked, the roots have purgative properties.

Khanom khai nok kratha

Khanom khai nok kratha (Thai: ขนมไข่นกกระทา, pronounced [kʰā.nǒm kʰàj nók krā.tʰāː]) is a Thai snack.

The sweet is a fried sweet potato dough ball. Khanom is placed at the beginning of the name of a sweet to indicate the food item is a dessert or snack; khai nok kratha means quail's egg, as the size of the dough ball is roughly the same size as that of a quail's egg.

Kinilnat

Kinilnat, or ensalada, is an Ilocano salad. Popular vegetables that are used as ingredients to this dish include the shoots and leaves of the sweet potato and bitter melon, shoots and the fruits of the string bean, and horseradish tree leaves and blossoms, taro, cabbage, blossoms of the West-Indian pea, and winged beans, fern shoots, or other various vegetables such as eggplant. The leaves, shoots, blossoms, or the other parts of the plant are blanched, drained and dressed with bagoong (preferably) or patis, and sometimes souring agents like calamansi or cherry tomatoes are added, as well as freshly ground ginger.

List of sweet potato cultivars

This list of sweet potato cultivars provides some information about varieties and cultivars of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas). Sweet potato was first domesticated in the Americas more than 5,000 years ago. As of 2013, there are approximately 7,000 sweet potato cultivars. People grow sweet potato in many parts of the world, including New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines, Japan, Hawaii, China, and North America. However, sweet potato is not widely cultivated in Europe.People breed sweet potatoes mainly either for food (their nutritious storage roots) or for their attractive flowering vines. (The variety 'Vardaman' is grown for both.) The first table below lists sweet potato cultivars grown for their edible roots; the second table lists cultivars bred as ornamental vines. In the first table, the Parentage column briefly explains how the sweet potato cultivar was bred. Sweet potato plants with desirable traits are selectively bred to produce new cultivars.

Sweet potato cultivars differ in many ways. One way people compare them is by the size, shape, and color of the roots. The more orange the flesh of a sweet potato root is, the more nutritious carotene it has. (Humans metabolize carotene into vitamin A.) The skin of a sweet potato root is a different color than the flesh. The biological word for the outer skin is epidermis; the flesh is called the pith or medulla. The first table below has a general description of the color of the root's flesh and skin.

In the mid-20th century, sweet potato growers in the Southern United States began marketing orange-fleshed sweet potatoes as "yams", in an attempt to differentiate them from pale-fleshed sweet potatoes. Even though these growers called their products yams, true yams are significantly different. All sweet potatoes are variations of one species: I. batatas. Yams are any of various tropical species of the genus Dioscorea. A yam tuber is starchier, dryer, and often larger than the storage root of a sweet potato, and the skin is more coarse. This list does not include yams.

Malian cuisine

Mali cuisine includes rice and millet as staples of Mali, a food culture heavily based on cereal grains. Grains are generally prepared with sauces made from edible leaves, such as sweet potato or baobab, with tomato peanut sauce. The dishes may be accompanied by pieces of grilled meat (typically chicken, mutton, beef, or goat).Malian cuisine varies regionally. Part of West African cuisine, other foods in Mali include Fufu, Jollof rice, and Peanut Butter Sauce.

Ocarina

The ocarina is an ancient wind musical instrument—a type of vessel flute. Variations exist, but a typical ocarina is an enclosed space with four to twelve finger holes and a mouthpiece that projects from the body. It is traditionally made from clay or ceramic, but other materials are also used—such as plastic, wood, glass, metal, or bone.

Okoy

Okoy or ukoy, are Filipino crispy deep-fried fritters made with glutinous rice batter, unshelled small shrimp, and various vegetables, including calabaza, sweet potato, cassava, mung bean sprouts, scallions and julienned carrots, onions, and green papaya. They are traditionally served with vinegar-based dipping sauces. They are eaten on their own or with white rice. They are popular for breakfast, snacks, or appetizers. Okoy are sometimes dyed bright orange with achuete seeds.Okoy has numerous variations using a variety of other ingredients, including replacing the shrimp with small fish or calamari. Okoy batter can also be made with regular flour, rice flour, or an egg and cornstarch mixture. It can also refer to omelettes made with mashed calabaza or sweet potato, with or without the shrimp.

Potyviridae

The Potyviridae are a family of viruses that encompasses more than 30% of known plant viruses, many of which are of great agricultural significance. Currently, more than 190 species are placed in this family, divided among eight genera.

Silverleaf whitefly

The silverleaf whitefly (Bemisia tabaci, also informally referred to as the sweet potato whitefly) is one of several species of whitefly that are currently important agricultural pests. A review in 2011 concluded that the silverleaf whitefly is actually a species complex containing at least 24 morphologically indistinguishable species.The silverleaf whitefly thrives worldwide in tropical, subtropical, and less predominately in temperate habitats. Cold temperatures kill both the adults and the nymphs of the species. The silverleaf whitefly can be confused with other insects such as the common fruitfly, but with close inspection, the whitefly is slightly smaller and has a distinct wing color that helps to differentiate it from other insects.

While the silverleaf whitefly had been known in the United States since 1896, in the mid-1980s a virulent strain appeared in poinsettia crops in Florida. For convenience that strain was referred to as strain B (biotype B), to distinguish it from the milder infestation of the earlier known strain A. Less than a year after its identification, strain B was found to have moved to tomatoes, and other fruit and vegetable crops. Within five years, the silverleaf whitefly had caused over $100 million in damage to Texas and California agriculture industries.

Sweet potato pie

Sweet potato pie is a traditional dessert, originating in the Southern United States. It is often served during the American holiday season, especially at Thanksgiving and Christmas in place of pumpkin pie, which is more traditional in other regions of the United States.

It is made in an open pie shell without a top crust. The filling consists of mashed sweet potatoes, evaporated milk, sugar, spices such as nutmeg, and eggs. Other possible ingredients include vanilla or lemon extracts. The baked custard filling may vary from a light and silky to dense, depending on the recipe's ratio of mashed potato, milk and eggs.

Species

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