The appearance and flavor of sweet potatoes varies from those of ordinary potatoes. Several nations love sweet potato varieties like Beauregard and Jewel. Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, come in a variety of shapes and sizes. White or orange flesh is found in sweet potato varieties, and purple flesh is found in certain types.
Sweet potatoes are extremely adaptable when it comes to cooking. Sweet potatoes may be cooked, used in casseroles, or baked. Purple sweet potatoes are utilized to dye desserts in certain nations. Whether you prefer white or purple sweet potatoes, a foray into various types is sure to be fun. The most common varieties of sweet potatoes are described in this article. You’ll learn about their skin, meat, and flavor profile.
What are Sweet Potatoes?
The botanical name for all sweet potato varieties is “Ipomoea batatas.” The family Convolvulaceae (morning glory) and the order Solanales both have tuberous starchy roots. In Central and South America, sweet potatoes are native to tropical countries. Sweet potatoes are simply referred to as batatas in most Spanish-speaking nations. Several nations with a hot and humid environment have domesticated sweet potatoes.
Sweet potatoes, sometimes known as yams, are a common vegetable in North America. Sweet potatoes are now grown by a number of nations across the globe, including Australia, Asia, Pacific islands, and Europe. The most popular flesh types in these nations are the orange and white.
Sweet potatoes have huge tubers with an oblong or oval form that tapers to a tip, which are the edible part. Pink, red, orange, creamy white, copper, and light tan are some of the various colors of sweet potato skins. The flesh color isn’t determined by their skin tone. The Japanese Okinawa purple sweet potato cultivar, for example, has beige skin and dark purple flesh. Hannah has a light tan skin and yellow flesh, making her a popular batata (sweet potato).
Yams or sweet potatoes – what’s the difference?
It’s surprising to learn that sweet potatoes are actually tubers that are referred to as yams. The genus Dioscorea belongs to the Dioscoreaceae family of tuberous roots. True yams are a type of tuberous root. As a result, sweet potatoes and yams are completely unrelated. When it comes to form, skin color, or flesh color, yams and sweet potatoes may appear similar. It might be tough to tell the difference between yams and sweet potatoes in photographs.
True yams, on the other hand, contain more starch and less water than sweet potato varieties. Sweet potatoes are also indigenous to the Americas, whereas yams are from Asia and Africa. Tubers labeled as ‘yams’ in your neighborhood shop are most likely one of many types of sweet potato. True yams are actually quite uncommon to come across in the United States. Throughout the late 1800s, it appears that calling sweet potatoes yams became popular in the United States.
Is a sweet potato a true potato?
If sweet potatoes are a kind of actual potato, there is still some debate. The nightshade family Solanaceae includes traditional potatoes, such as those used to make fries, potato mash, and roasting potatoes. To differentiate them from batatas, or sweet potatoes, potatoes are sometimes referred to as “white potatoes” or “Irish potatoes.” Sweet potatoes are, therefore, a distinct kind of vegetable from potatoes.
Types of Sweet Potatoes With Pictures and Names
Starting with the most popular and widely consumed sweet potato types, let’s explore some of the numerous varieties available.
Garnet Sweet Potato
Due to their mildly sweet flavor and moist texture, garnet sweet potatoes are a popular variety. Garnets have dark-orange to red skin with deep orange flesh and are oblong tubers. In the United States, this sweet potato cultivar is sometimes marketed as ‘garnet yams.’ Red Garnet, a kind of sweet potato with reddish-purple skin and orange flesh, is also available.
Jewel Sweet Potato
Jewel sweet potatoes have deep orange, sweet-tasting flesh that is somewhat similar to garnets. Jewel sweet potatoes have copper-colored skin that is somewhat lighter than garnets, which is one of the minor distinctions between them. One of the most popular sweet potato types for baking and preparing casseroles is jewel potatoes.
Hannah Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes with lightly colored tan skin are sometimes referred to as the Yellow Hannah or Sweet Hannah. The flesh underneath the skin is creamy white and has a sweet flavor when it is removed. Hannah sweet potatoes turn a light yellow color when cooked. Several chefs recommend using Hannah sweet potatoes to make sweet mash because of the flesh’s smooth texture.
Beauregard Sweet Potato
The Beauregard sweet potato is one of the most common types available in the United States. The rose-colored skin of these fat tuberous veggies is succulent orange flesh. Beauregard’s exquisite flavor and vibrant orange color are the reasons they are so popular. Sweet potatoes are considered by many to be the most versatile. Baking, mashing, or frying their moist flesh is a treat.
Covington Sweet Potato
The delectable Covington cultivar is another of the most popular sweet potato types. The rose-colored skin and vibrant orange flesh of this versatile starchy root vegetable identify it. Baking and serving desserts with the moist orange flesh is a breeze. Covingtons is considered by many to be the finest sweet potato variety available, in terms of flavor. When cooked, their starchy flesh develops a sweet and malty flavor.
Jersey Sweet Potato
The Jersey sweet potato appears to be the same color as conventional potatoes, as seen in photographs. Their skins are pale tan to creamy, and their flesh is white. While regular potatoes are sweet, Jersey potatoes aren’t as sweet as some of the orange sweet potato types.
Allgold Sweet Potato
Oklahoma is home to the Allgold sweet potato variety. The skin of this delicious tuber is tanned, and the flesh is mildly sweet.
Beauregards were used to develop the Carolina Ruby sweet potato cultivar. The deep reddish-purple smooth skin that covers bright orange flesh is a distinguishing characteristic of the Carolina Ruby. The ruby-colored skin that forms when cooked gives this sweet potato cultivar its name. Ruby’s has a sweet, moist flesh flavor that is described as “moderately sweet.”
Diane Sweet Potato
One of the most common varieties of sweet potatoes is Diane sweet potatoes. Tubers with a long oblong shape, similar to yams, have dark-red skin. The dark sweet orange flesh of the cooked sweet potato skin is revealed.
In the United States, sweet potatoes are eaten in a variety of ways. This is a type of white delight. Light purple, occasionally red skin and white flesh characterize these tasty starchy root veggies. These sweet potatoes are high in fiber and vitamin C, as are other sweet potato varieties.
The cream-colored skins and extremely sweet flesh of creamsicle sweet potatoes earned them the name. The orange flesh of these long, wiry root veggies retains its firmness when cooking. Creamsicles are a great option for frying, boiling, and using in stews and casseroles because of this.
The O’Henry cultivar is another kind of sweet potato that should not be confused with ordinary ones. Beauregard’s sweet potato variety has a distinctive oblong shape with tapered ends and was created using him. The flesh is creamy-white, and the skin is a light tan color.
These white-fleshed O’Henry sweet potatoes are almost as sweet as orange varieties, which is why they are so popular. The smooth meat has a sweet nutty flavor when cooked, boiled, or fried.
Puerto Rico (Porto Rico) Sweet Potato
Many cultivars of Bush Porto Rico sweet potatoes are derived from this popular kind of sweet root vegetable. These orange sweet potatoes have a beautiful rosy-pink color and a very sweet flavor. Baked Porto Rican sweet potatoes make a delectable buttery mash, and the flesh of these tubers is incredibly smooth.
The Carolina Nugget is a sweet potato cultivar that looks like Puerto Ricans. The skin of this oblong-shaped potato is pink and the flesh is orange. The sweet orange meat makes excellent sweet potato wedges, and the thick meat holds up well during cooking.
Hernandez Sweet Potatoes
Red skin, an oval to oblong form that tapers at one end, and moist orange flesh characterize Hernandez sweet potatoes. This Hernandez type is one of the nicest varieties of potato if you’re looking for one that’s delicious. Hernandez’s sweet potatoes have more sugar than Beauregard’s, Covington’s, and Diane’s, according to certain studies.
The skin of Brinkley White sweet potatoes is creamy, and the flesh is white. They have an oblong shape that tapers at either end and are similar to traditional starchy potatoes in color.
Envy (Heirloom Sweet Potato)
Old cultivars or heritage varieties of sweet potatoes are referred to as heirloom sweet potatoes. These are popular with home gardeners and are frequently grown in smaller quantities. ‘Envy,’ a popular heritage sweet potato variety with light orange skin and flesh, is one of the most popular types of heirloom sweet potatoes. Envy sweet potatoes have a slightly sweet flavor and moist flesh when cooked. You can toss the sweet potatoes in the oven or add them to stews. This is a excellent selection of veggies.
Cordner Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are available as Cordner cultivars in a few different varieties. The copper-colored skin and medium orange flesh of the Texan Cordner variety are available. Cordner’s Red is the other cultivar, which comes from Oklahoma. The skin is reddish-purple and the flesh is orange and sweet.
Korean Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes with black skin and white meat are available in a variety of Asian countries. Sweet potatoes are one of the nicest Korean examples of Asian vegetables. The skins of these varieties are pale purple or crimson, and the flesh is sweet. Korean sweet potatoes have thicker flesh and taste sweeter than American types, which is one of the ways they differ. Korean sweet potatoes are traditionally served as a snack when roasted or steamed.
Murasaki Japanese Sweet Potato
The Murasaki sweet potato from Japan is one of the most interesting sweet potato varieties from Asia. Its stretched form, deep purple skin, and delicate white flesh distinguish it. This Japanese variety has drier flesh than most other sweet potatoes. It still has a delicious nutty flavor, as do all varieties of sweet potato.
Types of Purple Sweet Potato
Purple sweet potatoes are among the most fun and vibrant vegetables you can prepare. Purple sweet potatoes are also a fantastic source of nutrition. The anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants, give purple color to the grapes. Here are some of the most common purple sweet potatoes on the market.
Stokes Purple Sweet Potato
One of the most well-known purple cultivars is Stokes purple sweet potatoes. You might mistake this long, fat root for a beet due to its purple skin and purple flesh. The purple root vegetable has purple skin with a fibrous flesh that has an earthy, slightly sweet flavor. These purple potatoes are best baked at a low temperature and for a longer period than orange or white sweet potatoes because of their thick flesh and low moisture content.
Japanese Purple Sweet Potato
These purple potatoes from Japan are also known as Murasaki Imo and have a long, slender oblong form. Dark red, purple, or dark brown are possible skin colors for them. The flesh has a dry starchy feel and is vibrant purple in color. Japanese purple sweet potatoes become wonderfully sweet and creamy when cooked, with nutty undertones.
Okinawan Purple Sweet Potato
The Okinawan cultivar of purple sweet potato is another kind of purple sweet potato from the Convolvulaceae family. This purple tuber has light brown skin and purple flesh, and is sometimes known as the Hawaiian sweet potato or Uala. The potato flesh has a slight white marbling effect when it is in its natural condition. Cooked, on the other hand, this turns a rich violet-purple with a almost deep blue hue. The delicate sweet flavor and smooth consistency of these Hawaiian sweet potatoes.
Ube Purple Yam
This tuberous root is actually a purple yam, sometimes known as the Ube sweet potato. Because they belong to the Dioscoreaceae family, Ube yams (Dioscorea alata) should not be confused with sweet potatoes. This has thicker skin than sweet potatoes and is the only genuine yam on our list.
The flesh of the young purple yam is white specked and light purple. After cooking, this color becomes more intense. In Asian countries, ube purple yams are a classic dish that goes well with desserts. Their sweet nutty flavor is delicious. Ube yam powder, extract, purple Ube jam, and grated frozen roots are also available to purchase.