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How to Pick the Best Sweet Potatoes

Cut sweet potatoes sit on a table.
KarepaStock/Shutterstock.com

Whether you love making homemade sweet potato fries or are planning your Thanksgiving sides, choosing the best veggies at the supermarket can make your meal even better. That means there are certain things to look for when picking up those sweet potatoes.

According to American’s Test Kitchen, there are certain traits to look for when shopping for the best sweet potatoes. The outlet spoke with Tim Hughes-Muse, an organic sweet potato farmer from Laughing Child Farm, about how to pick out the best ones.

According to Hughes-Muse, you should first examine the potato and be sure the skin is smooth and firm. If it meets that criteria, then it’s on to the shape. You’ll want a potato that is even and proportionate if you’re roasting it whole. This will ensure that it cooks evenly throughout. For chopping or dicing, the shape doesn’t really matter.

The smell is the final thing you’ll want to check. To ensure that a potato hasn’t gone bad be sure it has an earthy scent. You don’t want a sweet potato to smell sweet before you cook it. This means it is starting to rot inside and bacteria is being converted to sugar.

If you’re buying sweet potatoes early for Thanksgiving dinner, or you just like to have them on hand, be sure to store them properly so they stay fresh. Keep them in a cool, dry place or their own container that’ll protect them from heat. While the fridge seems like an option, Hughes-Muse said the potatoes can absorb smells that might affect their flavor.

Now that you know how to pick them, check out these sweet potato recipes.

[Via America’s Test Kitchen]

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »

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