February is National Sweet Potato Month. Sweet potatoes are most plentiful in stores from November through June, so winter and spring compose the primary selling season for sweet potatoes.
Sweet potatoes are not even distant cousins of Idaho’s pride, the Idaho baking potato. They are produced by a tropical vine and belong to the morning glory family. Sweet potato vines do not tolerate cold. They must be set out in the garden only after all danger of frost has passed and the tubers must be gathered before frost kills the vines.
There are many ways to prepare sweet potatoes in addition to opening a can of the prepared product. Sweet potatoes can be baked in a 400 degree oven for 40-50 minutes. They can be microwaved, boiled, steamed or mashed. Sweet potatoes can also be sliced and fried—even cut up raw and served with dip. Though they will never replace the noble Idaho potato, sweet potatoes make an interesting addition to a menu.

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