The Sweet Potato
A New World Food
by Mr. Drum
Columbus was one of the first Europeans to find the Sweet Potato when he landed in the West Indies in 1492. By 1500 the Sweet Potato was taken to Spain. Later it was taken to the Philippines and other parts of Southeast Asia. Many people think it came from there, because it grows well there, but it really originated in the Americas, probably in Central America.
Sweet Potatoes are a vegetable that is really good for you. If you eat one cup of Sweet Potatoes you get 114 calories, with no fat. If you wanted to eat only sweet potatoes to get your daily calorie requirement, you could eat about 20 sweet potatoes. These vegetables are high in vitamin A, which is a vitamin that helps keep your body’s cells from being damaged. There are no bad things about this vegetable.
I used to hate sweet potatoes, but now I love them. I usually eat sweet potato fries with hot mustard. When looking for sweet potatoes in the store, you may find them listed under yams, but they are not yams. Yams are a whole different vegetable with a completely different taste. It gets confusing because there are ‘dry fleshed’ sweet potatoes, and ‘moist fleshed’ sweet potatoes. The ‘moist fleshed’ sweet potatoes are the ones sometimes called yams. Another interesting fact is that the ‘moist flesh’ ones have less water in them than the ‘dry fleshed’ ones, so they are not so moist after all!