How do you eat your Haitian sweet potatoes?

Keeping the Fall theme going, after serving you six giraumon pumpkin recipes, I have included sweet potatoes on this week’s menu. Be aware that these vegetables may not be the ones your palate is used to if you didn’t grow up in Haiti.  They’re our Haitian sweet potatoes for which you can find a description in my Haitian-style baked sweet potatoes recipe article.

So, what exactly are some of the best ways to eat this root?

This question is best answered if we first start with the most typical local recipes.  In the Haitian food culture, this includes the short list of preparations highlighted below. I must confess that these are my least favorite. And that is simply because they do not help make this overly starchy bulb fluffier. This does not, however, imply that they’re not tasty. They’re just a bit too dense for my taste.

  1. Boiled sweet potatoes:

    We boil the vegetable skin on. Once it’s fully cooked, we peel it and serve it as a side with a full meal. I have also seen it served on a breakfast plate alongside some eggs.

  2. Sweet potato fries:

    This is another popular preparation. The cuts are usually thicker, but I prefer the stick version. To prepare your sweet potatoes that way, follow the same steps you would for regular fries. For a less oily version, oven-bake them. That’s how I prepared the ones below. I seasoned them with salt, pepper and fresh garlic before coating them with oil and baking them for about an hour and a half. The added garlic definitely made them pop.These oven baked Haitian fries are seasoned with salt, pepper and fresh garlic. |

  3. Papita patat:

    These are simply sweet potato chips. I prefer mine with some salt sprinkled on top just like the regular plantain chips, better known as papita in Haiti.

    These Haitian sweet potato chips are slightly salted. |

While the above preparations may have not fully conquered my palate, the experimental recipes below definitely did.

They make for airy sweet potatoes that are near silky-smooth and, thus, easier to chew on and swallow. As you’ll notice, most of the preparations I suggest involve mixing in some dairy. I believe that makes all the difference in the texture.

  1. Cod stuffed baked sweet potatoes:

    This was my very first experiment with this vegetable and I was pleasantly surprised. You can grab the recipe here.This Haitian sweet potato is oven-roasted, mashed and reduced to a puree topped with prepared cod. |

  2. Layered baked sweet potatoes:

    These are thinly sliced sweet potatoes that I seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic and thyme, and tossed with Tête de Maure cheese before baking.

    These thinly sliced sweet potatoes are seasoned and mixed with cheese before baking. |

  3. Sweet potato gratin:

    Think of it as a baked sweet potato puree prepared with cream, salt, pepper and Tête de Maure cheese.Think of this as a cheesy baked sweet potato puree. Sounds delish, no? Now go try it. |

  4. Now, I must finish strong with one of our most popular Haitian desserts: pain patate

    I should have included it in the typical recipe list above, but I thought I’d save the best for last. The sweet pain patate below is by far my favorite way of eating this vegetable. And the pain patate delicious recipe awaits you here.This Haitian sweet potato pudding recipe, aka pain patate is the only recipe you'll ever need. |

I now turn the mic to you, or should I say the keyboard?  What are your favorite ways of eating sweet potatoes? It doesn’t matter whether they’re our local variety or a different one. I want to read all about them below.

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