Sunday, January 31, 2021

Sweet potatoes


As you well know, sweet potatoes are not potatoes. This is one of those surprising, on the face of it, facts. And like many quirky, anecdotally friendly facts it's one that the average person will learn so early in life it becomes at once notably odd and mundane.

Because the truth is sweet potatoes look a lot like potatoes. They are named in relation to potatoes. They even act a lot like potatoes. So despite all I know to the contrary, it is hard for me to shake the feeling that they are a kind of potato.

Being, as I am, on the Internet, writing an essay that at first glance looks as if it might be informational, I felt a responsibility to look in detail at this sweet potato versus the regular potato issue. So I did.

And I quickly became unbelievably bored! 

I just have never been interested in what's a tuber and what's a root vegetable. Botanical classification is not super interesting to me. Not deep down. And inevitably yams are going to come into it.


That might be the real problem.

Today I had some kind of frozen sweet potato product. They weren't bad. But they weren't great. The truth is a sweet potato conjures the sense of a potato, only sweet. It's an interesting idea, a "sweet" potato. A sweet potato is like a potato, but sweet, sort of. But also it's sort of It's an uncanny valley situation. It's almost a potato, but the texture is somehow wrong in a disturbing way. It's simply not a potato. 

So we need to let sweet potatoes be sweet potatoes. I was able to enjoy these frozen sweet potato snacks when I stopped trying to have them be potatoes. They are best when they are what they are. They need a new, more independent name.


That's taken. And I absolutely refuse to go into it.

But how about we call them "oranges"?

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you were wondering, yes, you should comment. Not only does it remind me that I must write in intelligible English because someone is actually reading what I write, but it is also a pleasure for me since I am interested in anything you have to say.

I respond to pretty much every comment. It's like a free personalized blog post!

One last detail: If you are commenting on a post more than two weeks old I have to go in and approve it. It's sort of a spam protection device. Also, rarely, a comment will go to spam on its own. Give either of those a day or two and your comment will show up on the blog.