Sweet potatoes – the potato’s sweeter sister
Although called a potato, the sweet potato tastes very different. The orange tubers are incredibly versatile. We look at what makes them so special and why they’ve earned a reputation as a superfood.
Not one, but two of the dishes on our latest Specials menu contain sweet potato. Our Insalata Ortolana has fried sweet potato cubes with lambs lettuce, beetroot and goat’s cheese – all drizzled with sea buckthorn dressing. And there’s more sweet potato in our Risotto Campo with Thai chilli and Grana Padano. Delicious!
As well as starring in Vapiano’s dishes, over the last few years the sweet potato has become a firm favourite in our homes too. But what’s all the fuss about? The answer is simple. As well as tasting great, sweet potatoes are incredibly versatile. Whether raw, cooked, fried or made into sweet potato chips, this is one multitalented vegetable!
Columbus was a sweet potato fan
Christopher Columbus was so taken with the sweet potato that he brought them back to Europe from South American at the end of the 15th century. The warm climate in Spain and Portugal proved perfect for growing the newcomer. Initially, sweet potatoes were seen as the food of the poor – all until they were rumoured to have an aphrodisiac effect. And suddenly people everywhere were queuing up to try them.
Many people don’t realise that the sweet potato is not actually a potato at all. It belongs to a separate biological genus. While normal potatoes belong to the nightshade family, the sweet potato is a member of the morning glory family known as “Convolvulaceae”. But just like its white sister, it’s a popular choice. In fact, in the chart of root vegetables sweet potato comes in third, just behind white potatoes and manioc. Over 120 million tonnes of sweet potatoes are harvested every year to meet demand for the new superfood.
Never tried sweet potato? Pop along to your local Vapiano restaurant and sample one of our new Specials. Buon appetito!