The deep-orange sweet potato is well known to vegetable lovers, but it's not the only tater on the block. If you look around, you might find heirloom varieties. These are sometimes called yellow yams, white yams or white sweet potatoes. With beige skin and cream-colored flesh, they look more like long, odd-shaped yellow potatoes. In sweetness, however, they rival their more colorful kin.
Both types are good for all manner of cooking, including deep-fat frying. They can be baked as side dishes, pureed for soup, and mashed for pies, breads, cookies and custard. Cold cooked sweets also make hand-held snacks.
Look for sweet potatoes that feel solid and unyielding with skins intact; nicks can invite bacterial growth and an early demise. For cooking success, try to pick those that are uniform in shape, since fat bodies with tapered ends can lead to overcooked ends and semi-raw middles.
Like many cold-weather crops, sweet potatoes prefer -- you guessed it -- cool-but-not-cold storage. Dry is better than damp. Keep them in a well-ventilated spot away from light and enjoy within 10 days.
If you believe that variety is the spice of life, you'll be overjoyed with our next entry.