National Cook a Sweet Potato Day Date in the current year: February 22, 2024

National Cook a Sweet Potato Day National Cook a Sweet Potato Day is a fun culinary holiday celebrated annually on February 22. It is a great occasion to experiment with new sweet potato recipes and cook a delicious dinner for yourself and your loved ones.

The sweet potato is a plant from the bindweed (morning glory) family whose large, starchy tubers are used as root vegetable. Despite their name, sweet potatoes are only remotely related to potatoes; they are also not related to true yams even though some sweet potato cultivars are referred to as “yams” in parts of North America.

Sweet potatoes are native to and were first domesticated in either Central or South America. From there, they spread to Polynesia and then much later to Europe. The Spanish introduced sweet potatoes to the Philippines, from where they were brought to China, and the Portuguese introduced them to Japan.

Today, sweet potatoes are cultivated in tropical and warm temperate regions throughout the world. The world’s top five sweet potato producers are China, Malawi, Tanzania, Angola, and Ethiopia. There are more than 7,000 sweet potato cultivars; some are bred for their edible roots (tubers), and others for their ornamental vines. Depending on the cultivar, sweet potatoes can have different skin and flesh colors, but orange-colored sweet potatoes are the most common ones.

Sweet potatoes are a staple food crop in some tropical areas. Cooked sweet potatoes are a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese and vitamin B6, and a moderate source of potassium and vitamins B1, B2 and B3. Sweet potatoes can be baked, roasted, boiled, steamed, deep-fried, and even candied. They can also be used in various dishes such as soups, stews, casseroles, pies, and salads.

In the United States, sweet potatoes are especially popular in the Southern states. The sweet potato is the state vegetable of Alabama, Louisiana, and North Carolina, and sweet potato pie is a staple of Southern cuisine. Sweet potato fries are a popular alternative to regular French fries, and candied sweet potatoes, sweet potato casserole and sweet potato mash are often served at Thanksgiving dinner.

The origins of National Cook a Sweet Potato Day are unclear, but it shouldn’t stop you from celebrating this amazing holiday. You can cook your favorite sweet potato dish or try a new recipe, invite your friends over for a sweet potato-themed potluck dinner or host a sweet potato cook-off. If you’re not in the mood for cooking, that’s ok! Drop by your favorite fast food place and grab some sweet potato fries.

Baked sweet potatoes are one of the easiest sweet potato dishes you can cook to celebrate the holiday. Start with preheating your oven to 425 ºF. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment. Wash four sweet potatoes, scrubbing lightly to get rid of any soil and dirt, and dry them thoroughly before proceeding.

Place the potatoes on the lined baking sheet and prick then all over with a fork. If you intend to eat the skins, you can slightly rub them with olive oil. Baked the sweet potatoes for 45 to 50 minutes, or until tender. Let them cool, then split open with a knife and top with butter. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper before serving.

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National Cook a Sweet Potato Day, unofficial holidays, observances in the United States, food days, sweet potatoes