Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.
Sweet potatoes are not to be confused with yams, though they are similar enough in appearance. The true yam is the tuber of a tropical vine, and is not even remotely related to the sweet potato.
The paler-skinned sweet potato has a thin, light yellow skin with pale yellow flesh which is not sweet and has a dry, crumbly texture similar to a white baking potato. The sweet potato that is most often confused with a yam is the thicker, darker-skinned variety, with its orange to reddish skin, its vivid orange, sweet flesh, and its moist texture.
Current popular sweet potato varieties include Goldrush, Georgia Red, Centennial, Puerto Rico, New Jersey, and Velvet. Any of them will work well for this recipe.
4-5 sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
½ cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup orange juice
Boil cut-up sweet potatoes until tender, but firm.
In a frying pan, melt the butter and brown sugar together until bubbly.
Add the orange juice and whisk until smooth. Add the cut-up sweet potatoes and cook on low heat for about 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally until the sweet potatoes fully caramelize.
To thicken syrup, stir in some more brown sugar as needed.