Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ode to the Naked Sweet Potato

When I was a kid our sweet potatoes had butter on them. Then one year mom sprinkled a little brown sugar on the butter, dad was hooked and it became a tradition. Then I married into a family that used brown sugar syrup and butter all over the damn things and then topped them with marshmallows. If my mother-in-law cooked too the sweet potatoes too long they took on the taste and consistency of burnt hard candy. I didn't like them that way. I went back to using just butter on top. Then one time we were out of butter and I learned they taste perfectly fine naked. The potato was naked; I had on clothes during all our dinners; I don't care what you've heard!

Then we moved from the northeast to the south, where people eat sweet potato pie - something I never heard of growing up in New York.

Eventually I put on my big girl panties and went back to eating sweet potatoes - plain, baked without sugars, butters or anything else. No toppings. They are delicious, healthy and nutritious.

Many people cannot imagine their sweet potatoes naked. I don't begrudge them their butter, brown sugar, pecans and marshmallows but I wish people would try to appreciate how great a plain, baked sweet potato can be before they pick up the sugar spoon. It is what we add to it which causes harm, not the potato itself.

I was not surprised to learn that there is now a sweet potato ice cream. It does not have a marshmallow ribbon, candied pecans or pie crust cookie nuggets. Those who have tried it (I have not) say it is very tasty and in one person's view, 'a good step towards the icecreamization' (or is that criminalization) 'of Thanksgiving'.

Give me my naked potato.



Caron said...

When my baked sweet potatoes are hot out of the oven, I do have a small one with a teaspoon of butter and a dash of cinnamon. Once they are cold, I eat them straight out of the fridge. They are like candy to me that way. Soooooooo delicious. :)

Unknown said...

My mother always boiled sweet potatoes, but that isn't the best way to make them. I now make them in our little toaster oven, which caramelizes them a little--so much sweeter, with absolutely nothing added.

:-) Marion

Jeanette said...

I eat a naked sweet potato EVERY DAY. Occasionally I will put some salsa on top for nice times, but that's it.

I roast up 5 sweet potatoes on Sunday (no oils or anything) and eat them throughout the week - the cook in their natural sweet sugars and are sooo good!

E. Jane said...

Living in the Midwest, we never ate sweet potatoes in the form of pie--always plain or with butter--so that's how I like them. I guess some people did put marshmallows on them for Thanksgiving dinner, but I never enjoyed that form. I do, however, like a small amount of butter on them. My grandkids like sweet potato fries. It seems that more and more, restaurants are finding ways to take healthy food and jazz it up so that the calories and fat make them off limits to so many.

One More Time said...

I love to add some salsa on top, no butter.

Losing The Rolls said...

Thanksgiving will not be thanksgiving without yams with brown sugar and marshmallows. That being said, this is the first year that I have had a sweet potato roasted and I liked it. I usually add some ghee while it is hot.

julie said...

I bake them, think they're almost too sweet even plain. Candied/marshmellowed, no way, I'd sooner eat chocolate dipped poo.