SWEET POTATOES: are the roots or tubers of a creeping, vine-like plant, native to tropical America but growing freely in any part of North America where the summers are long enough to permit sufficient root growth, and cultivated also in the East Indies, the Philippines and other Eastern coun tries, and the South of Europe. Botanically, they are not in any way related to the ordinary or "Irish" potato, the plant being closely akin to the convolvulus and morning-glory vines, but in food value they correspond closely, excepting that the "sweet" contains from 4% to 10% of sugar, whereas the ordinary potato has The several varieties may be divided into the "moist-fleshed" and the "dry" or "mealy" fleshed types. The Southern-grown product is generally drier than the Northern. Large and moist-fleshed roots are frequently called "yams," but incorrectly.
Sweet potatoes should be stored in a dry place where the temperature is not below 60° nor above 70° Fahr. Great care must be
exercised in protecting them during cold weather as they are easily damaged by frost.
Some persons bury them in sand or dust, but this is not necessary. If used, it should be perfectly dry.
They must also be handled nearly as carefully as eggs. Their condition should be well noted before buying, and any that are bruised should be rejected. The common potato may be shoveled around rather care lessly, and often a bruise on one end, or even a decayed spot, will not affect the remainder of the root. But with "sweets," a bruise at one end soon spoils the whole.
Ignorance on these points is responsible for many of the sweet potatoes of poor quality served during the winter. With proper attention they can be kept in good condition for several months. Kiln-dried, they can be held until the middle of June.