First of all… what is it?

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When you think of a sweet potato, you probably imagine a ruddy orange potato, copper-skinned and slightly thinner and longer than a russet spud. While we love the classic orange sweet potato (nobody can resist Grandma's sweet potato casserole, after all), there are many more varieties of sweet potatoes to explore. Sweet potatoes come in lots of different shapes, colors, and sizes, and today, we're breaking down everything you need to know about the white sweet potato.

What is a white sweet potato?

While there are endless different varieties of the sweet potato, there are two more common types that you've probably seen at the grocery store: orange sweet potatoes and white sweet potatoes. Orange sweet potatoes boast copper-toned skin and a bright orange interior, making this sweet potato a favorite choice in the fall months. White sweet potatoes, on the other hand, have a lighter, golden-colored skin and white flesh. The interior of a white sweet potato looks a lot like a starchy russet, while its shape and texture resemble that of a classic sweet potato.

Orange vs. white sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a lower-calorie, high-fiber alternative to starchy potatoes, making them a favorite healthier alternative. But orange sweet potatoes live up to their name– they have a very strong, sweet flavor that will probably never be able to mimic the taste of classic French fries. Enter the white sweet potato.

The white sweet potato is a great middle ground between an orange sweet potato and your favorite russet. The white sweet potato has a slightly more crumbly and dry texture than an orange sweet potato, as well as a flavor that's slightly less sweet. While the white sweet potato does not boast as many nutrients as the orange sweet potato, it is still a healthier option than starchy potatoes. Visually, the white sweet potato can better replicate the appearance of classic potatoes.

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What does a white sweet potato taste like?

The white sweet potato tastes a lot like the orange sweet potato, but with a milder flavor. It can go between sweet and savory quite smoothly, while its orange cousin pretty much always maintains a strong sweetness. The orange sweet potato's sweet flavor makes it beloved in classic dishes like sweet potato pie, but if you're looking to incorporate sweet potato into a hash or a simple roasted side dish, the white sweet potato could be your best bet.

How to cook white sweet potatoes

Since the white sweet potato can be incorporated into sweet or savory dishes, the possibilities are endless. White sweet potatoes can be roasted, baked, grilled, or mashed just like orange sweet potatoes– the main difference is in the flavor. So if you want all the health benefits of sweet potatoes without the super-sweet flavor, try out a white sweet potato!

The white sweet potato has a crumblier texture than its orange counterpart, but it's also easy to transform. Mix the flesh of the sweet potato with butter (and maybe a little cream) for a perfectly creamy baked sweet potato. Try using white sweet potatoes to make sweet potato fries, a savory sweet potato casserole, or a simple slow-cooker sweet potato side. Test it out and supplement or substitute with white sweet potatoes in some of our favorite potato dishes.

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