Did you know… ?
The sweet potato consumption in Europe has nearly doubled in the last five years. Nethertheless it still unknown to many. Therefore we have gathered some interesting facts for you!
The sweet potato is a potato, isn´t it?
No, this is the most surprising fact: The sweet potato belongs to a different botanical family than the potato.
It is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the family Convolvulaceae and is a root vegetable. The name sweet potato has the following origin: It looks very similar to a potato and on top it tastes sweeter than a classic potato. Therefore it was named sweet potato. You might think there is a botanical relationship as well due to the name but this is not the case.
The leafs are a delicacy!
This is another fact you probably did not know so far: The sweet potato leaves are not only eatable but delicious!
Every child knows that potatos can only be eaten boiled and only the fruit, the remaining parts of the plant are inedible. Whereas the sweet potato leaves are used like spinach in their tropical home countries and are therefore an often used ingredient in meals. Just give it a try, you will love it!
Where is it origin?
The sweet potato´s origin can be found in South America, mainly in Peru. It can be described as one of the oldest vegetable in mankind. For example, in Peruan tombs sweet potato remains were found that date back more than 10,000 years.
The European sweet potato history can be dated back more than 500 years to the beginning of the "new World" colonisation. With this more than half a millenium history, the sweet potato has far more roots with the European history than the "normal" well known potato.
Let´s take Shakespeare for an example: art historians claim that Shakespeare pointed to the sweet potato in his work and not to the nowadays famous "normal" potato which had no influence back then. The sweet potato was already famous during the times of renaissance. What a history!
Is it a niche product?
No, by far not! The yearly production quantity worldwide is 120 Mio tons!
This makes it to one of the most important agricultural crop in the world! It has the third place in the world when it comes to volume in root vegetables- straight after potatos and manioks. Interesting to know: The hightest per capita consumption in the world is not in the US!
It is in Russia with an average consumption of 250kg per capita per year! This is five times more than the worldwide average!