Updated: 21 hours ago
There are 400 different types of sweet potatoes in the world. It would be a difficult decision to make when selecting what variety to eat if your taste buds are chasing after the delectable comfort food taste of sweet potato-based desserts and confections. There are just simply so many of them. What a nice problem to have!
There was a time in our childhood when making these delicious delicacies took some real struggles in the kitchen.
BONIATO: GRANDMA'S SWEET POTATO PUDDING
Your granny would grate the sweet potatoes by hand using a manual box grater, and she would make you help her out. This was one of your least favorite chores, but the resulting reward of eating your deliriously sweet potato pudding or pie at the end of the whole process was incentive enough for you to assist her in the kitchen.
Together, you and granny would then mix the grated sweet potatoes, the boniato variety, which most Caribbeans prefer, with coconut milk (you're the one who also grated the coconut yourself, huffing and puffing), cornmeal, and raisins. Then add coconut milk, sweet red wine, salt to taste, vanilla or Haitian vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, medium ripe banana or grated yellow yam, brown sugar, butter, and other spices you can think of.
The boniato is a sweet potato native to the Americas and Jamaican desserts are generally made with it because of availability, but the Asians already claim bountiful harvests of boniato in the present day.
The boniato got its name from the Spanish conquistadors who were wary about any food they encounter in their expeditions. When they found out it was not poisonous at all, they named it as boniato which means harmless or good.
Now let's go back to your baking adventure with your grandma. You love this part as you remember it. Your granny would take you outdoors after the grating kitchen adventure because it is now time to bake. You will remember with nostalgia the traditional coal stove that your family owns.
She would make a fire using charcoal beneath the baking pan that is full of the pone that you helped grate. Sometimes, food tastes better when cooked or baked through charcoal. A certain sweet smokiness that can't be paralleled by gas or electric stoves.
In the Caribbean, this baking style is called Hell a Top, Hell a Bottom, and Hallelujah in the Middle. Everyone will be expectantly waiting for a decadent grandma's sweet potato pudding (pone) that's so perfect with a sweet custard top!
Nowadays, it is so easy to make your sweet potato pone with a food processor or blender. You don't have to sweat it out in the kitchen like what you and your grandma did in your Caribbean kitchen. You could even make it more moist, rich, and decadent because it is blended well by your modern powerful appliances and the ingredients can be easily bought in the tropical supermarket, either the natural or canned versions. As an added bonus, we have laid out a summarized sweet potato pudding recipe for your inspiration.
In Japan, sweet potatoes or satsumaimo, are the flavors most associated with the advent of autumn. Freshly roasted Japanese sweet potato has the warmth to comfort anyone when the weather starts to become cooler.
The Japanese, think of home when the seasons change from summer to fall and they see on their tables various satsumaimo desserts and confections. They would remember their parents urging them to eat these delicacies based on old fashioned sweet potato recipes because they are filling to the stomach and flowing with nutrients.
During special occasions like the Japanese New Year, these types of popular sweet potatoes with distinctive purple or reddish skin are boiled and then mashed. Inside, they have creamy white flesh that turns yellow after being cooked. Then they are mixed with candied chestnuts to make a dish named Kuri Kinton. Add sugar, according to taste preference. This is symbolic for the Japanese because it represents wealth, good luck, and prosperity.
But people in the Caribbean and all over the world are also using satsumaimo in their puddings and desserts because of its unique and quality taste not found in other sweet potato varieties. It is exported globally and you can find it at your local Caribbean grocery store.
BEAUREGARD SWEET POTATO
Beauregard is a cultivar of sweet potato. It is relatively new because it was developed at Louisiana State University just in 1987 by the late Larry Rolston. It has reddish or purplish skin with deep orange color for the flesh. It likes to take in the sun, so give it plenty of sunlight. This means it can grow well in warm or tropical weather.
A cultivar is a plant variety that has been intentionally cultivated through selective breeding. Beauregard is regarded as the saving grace of the flailing Louisiana sweet potato market because it has high yield and disease-resistant traits. The existing varieties in the state were inferior and were easily destroyed by pests.
It is named after the French Louisiana Confederate General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard because Rolston had an avid interest in the Civil War. A war general and a sweet potato linked together by destiny!
Its high yield and resistance to diseases have made Beauregard an attractive crop to grow not only in North America but also in Europe and Australia. Imagine, it was just created in 1987, but in a little more than 3 decades, it is now grown all over the world. But if you live in the Caribbean or elsewhere, and you've taken a liking to its taste for your desserts and puddings, it could be available at your local grocery stores.
To make a Louisiana Beauregard American sweet potato pie, you mix in these sweet potatoes with milk, sugar, heavy whipping cream, eggs, vanilla, bittersweet chocolate, and orange zest with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and other choices you might have. You will need a partially baked pie shell before you put everything in and place inside a stove. In 2 hours, your delicious Beauregard American sweet potato pie will be ready for your appetite!
For old-fashioned sweet potato pudding, pies, desserts, and confections choose the sweet potato that you prefer and experiment with your spices and ingredients! Kitchen creations based on sweet potatoes have endless possibilities!