Those taters to your left are not just any taters, those are sweet po-taters! This is another reason I love the South. Now, growing up I had had sweet potato pie a few times over the years at the obligatory holidays, namely Thanksgiving. I never knew anything about these sweet potatoes other than that they made a bad pie. Aren’t pies supposed to be round? So, after a couple of tries, I politely declined to consume anymore of this so called “pie” with a marshmallow topping.
That was until I ate at a modestly priced restaurant called Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. It was early in my time in South Carolina and I was out to eat with a few people. You can order sides at this restaurant and have them served family style so someone ordered sweet potato pie for all of us. Since it was Ruth’s Chris I figured I would give it a try. One bite, two bites, three bites, four and then even more! The rest of the table almost didn’t get any of this side dish. I realized what I had been eating in California was some sad concoction nowhere near to what sweet potato pie should be. Had I never come to the South I would have continued to be in the dark about this spectacular root.
After this cosmic food experience, I was then introduced to the sweet potato fry. Equally as yummy and for me, far easier to make. You take your sweet potatoes and cut them up like fries, throw them in a Ziploc bag with olive oil, sea salt, and cinnamon. Then, spread them on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees (or maybe 375 degrees – whatever you want to try) for about thirty to forty minutes. I check them a couple of times while they are cooking. Sometimes they finish earlier than at other times. Might have something to do with the different temps I use each time I make them.
Anyway, if you have never tried them before, cook ’em up and let me know what you think! And for those of you in the South who know what I am talking about, be sure to keep your eye on Chick-fil-A. May 13 was free sweet potato fry day in select cities so hopefully we will soon see the sweet potato fry unveiled at all locations!