Purple Sweet Potato 101

I recently started seeing purple sweet potatoes in the grocery store again. They are found more often in fall and winter. I've always wanted to try them, so I finally decided to grab one to taste (if you saw the price, you'd understand why I just got one). Click here to check out how I prepared it.

Purple Sweet Potato

What is a Purple Sweet Potato?

First I think we should start off with what they aren't. Purple sweet potatoes (including the orange ones) are not yams. Yams are native to Asia and Africa. Their skin is bark-like with a starchy, unsweet flesh that's similar to yucca. They are not common in the U.S.

Purple sweet potatoes are not ube. Fresh ube is also rarely found in the U.S. It is a staple in the Filipino kitchen and used in many desserts across Asia. They resemble yams on the outside with lilac flesh on the inside.


Purple sweet potatoes have a brownish or purple exterior with a bright purple interior. The color intensifies when it's cooked. They don't have the sweet flavor of their orange cousin. This is not the potato you want to use in a pie. It has a dryer texture and an earthy flavor. Because they are denser than the orange sweet potatoes, they take longer to cook.

Photo Credit Freidas.com


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