The problem with the sweet potato is that it’s simply not a pumpkin. A bite of sweet potato pie is like a sip of Pepsi when you thought you were getting Coke. There are casseroles made from the sweet potato that taste pretty good after they are coated in sugared pecans and inundated with butter.
Some restaurants serve “fries” and “chips” made of the sweet potato. They are sprinkled with salt and sugar and also doused with butter, and they make me crave a large McDonald’s side of fries or a bag of Lays.
Listen, I’m really sad about this, I am. I want the sweet potato to be yummy. I keep trying it, thinking that something on my palate will have changed since the last time. For years, I’ve pulled for the ugly little spud with the OompaLoompa flesh! But it’s just not a pumpkin.
Now, I understand that a pumpkin pie has a bunch of sugar and gook in it too. It’s not automatically awesome right out of the Jack-o-lantern. But the pumpkin also isn’t going around, showing up in a bunch of restaurants, trying to pass itself off as something it’s not. Here’s a website of 100 recipes of things to do with a pumpkin, I challenge you to find one that isn’t either a delicious dessert or some normal food that someone made weird by adding pumpkin.
At this point I’m glad that this is a quiet little blog, because in spite of all the mediocre things about the sweet potato, the brazen little starch has one heck of a fan base! It has Federal and State representation from the United States Sweet Potato Council, to the Sweet Potato Council in Mississippi. On January 22, 2012, sweet potato groupies from around the country met for the 2012 Sweet Potato Convention at the St. Regis Resort in Dana Point, CA. And in spite of all the criticism I just leveled at it, the Produce News claims it’s doing just fine, with crop demand raising over 13% just last year. So what do I know, right? Just that every time I get served a sweet potato, it’s the only time I actually end up craving a regular old bland baked potato.
So, I did it. I cooked the sweet potato. You saw it, it’s that baked ground hog looking thing up at the top there. No one in the house was really interested in eating it though, and since I already knew that if I ate it, my mouth was just going to be disappointed, I went ahead and bought a slice of pumpkin pie along with the tater, and ate that instead. It was fantastic!
See you Thursday for National Margarita Day!