The raw sweet potato was first discovered in 750 BC, where man originally wondered "Can you eat sweet potato raw?" While not the first food discovered, it certainly has seniority among its peers. In the colonial period, the southeastern 13 American colonies were eating raw yams as the major food. Overall, it is a diverse vegetable with over 400 types, ranging in discovery from BC to AD and modern times.
What Is Sweet Potato?
The orange version of a raw sweet potato is often called a yam in the southeastern United States. The sweet potato, despite being erroneously called a yam, bears little similarity to an actual yam. Additionally, although it is called a potato, in terms of botany, the two are only loosely related.
A sweet potato stems from the root of the plant. It has so many shapes that no two are the same. It is typically long and can have a length of 4 inches with a width up to 2 inches as well. The plant itself usually has a medium-sized flower that grows along the vine.
The plant is a tempermental one: it does not tolerate frost, drought, or too much water. They can take anywhere between 2-9 months to mature. It has various colors, such as cream, tan, pink, purple and orange. They can be found year-round and are in season around Thanksgiving and Christmas in the United States.