Sweet PotatoesInformation Courtesy of North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission.
VarietiesAlthough there are literally hundreds of sweet potato varieties, a few grow especially well in North Carolina. Their wide array of colors and subtle flavor variations can really add that special something to even the most mundane of dishes. (Click this link for anything-but-mundane sweet potato recipes.)
The North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission shows us 9 (nine) of those varieties in this image, in their unsliced forms:
Here's another photo of the same varieties, except sliced to show the beautiful colors adding sweet potatoes to your recipes can provide:
CovingtonCovington sweet potatoes have a pinkish-colored skin, described as "rose"-like by the N.C. Sweet Potato Commission. Flesh is moist and orange.
According to the state's Sweet Potato Commission, Covingtons are by far the most popular variety, with an 87-percent (87%) share of planted produce in the year 2009 in North Carolina.
Whole Covington Sweet Potato Sliced Covington Sweet Potato
BeauregardBeauregard varieties, like their close cousins the Covington, also have rose-colored skin and a moist, orange flesh.
They are the second-most popular sweet potato to plant in North Carolina, with
a 10-percent (10%) share of planted crops.
Whole Beauregard Sweet Potato Sliced Beauregard Sweet Potato
HernandezReddish skin with a moist, orange flesh.
Whole Hernandez Sweet Potato Sliced Hernandez Sweet Potato
Purple Sweet Potato
A fascinating new, as-of-yet unreleased variety of sweet potato, with a purple skin and moist purple flesh, unlike the Japanese and Murasaki sweet potatoes, which are colorful but have drier flesh.
Whole Purple Sweet Potato Sliced Purple Sweet Potato
Evangeline Sweet Potato
Evangelines are characterized by their rose-colored skin and moist flesh, which is often a deep orange. The type is a "new release from Louisiana," according to the N.C. Sweet Potato Commission.
Whole Evangeline Sweet Potato Sliced Evangeline Sweet Potato
Puerto Rican Sweet Potato
Puerto Rican sweet potatoes are something of an oddity in the canon of sweet potato colorings - their faded hue contrasts sharply with the other varieties typically grown in North Carolina.
They have a whitish- to copper-colored skin, and a moist, reddish-orange flesh inside.
Whole Puerto Rican Sweet Potato Sliced Puerto Rican Sweet Potato
O'Henry Sweet Potato
O'Henry sweet potatoes, like the Puerto Rican variety, have a lighter hue, often close to faded copper. The Sweet Potato Commission describes them as "moist cream fleshed," and are a variant of the more popular Beauregard variety.
Whole O'Henry Sweet Potato Sliced O'Henry Sweet Potato
Japanese Sweet Potato
Japanese sweetpotatoes have a distinctive dark-red skin, somewhat reminiscent of the common small red potatoes, although they are much larger. The flesh inside is slightly dry, and typically a whitish color.
Whole Japanese Sweet Potato Sliced Japanese Sweet Potato
Murasaki Sweet Potato
Murasaki sweetpotatoes are another variety with Japanese roots, with a reddish-purple skin and stout tuber, like its relative the Japanese sweet potato. The flesh is dry and white, and has a multitude of uses in cooking.
Whole Murasaki Sweet Potato Sliced Murasaki Sweet Potato
Information cited courtesy of the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission.