As mentioned in a previous post, no matter the occasion, the pie my family served almost exclusively was sweet potato pie. As any southerner will happily testify if you've never tried sweet potato pie, run, do not walk, to the nearest southerner you can find and ask them to bake one for you.
The vegetable i prefer to use for this recipe is actually a yam. i hear some of you asking 'sweet potato, yam---what's the difference---aren't they the same vegetable'. No, they are not. "The sweet potato [Botanical Name: Ipomoea batatas] is a dicotyledonous [flowering plant], that belongs to the family Convolvulaceae [morning glory family with double seed leaf]. Its large, starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots are an important root vegetable. The young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens".
"The softer, orange variety of the sweet potato is often called a yam in parts of North America, a practice intended to differentiate it from the firmer and more nutritious variety of sweet potato that is beige on the outside and yellow on the inside. The sweet potato is botanically very distinct from the other vegetable called a yam, which is native to Africa and Asia and belongs to the monocot family [flowering plant family] Dioscoreaceae [single seed leaf]. To prevent confusion, the United States Department of Agriculture requires sweet potatoes labeled as "yams" to be labeled also as "sweet potatoes".
Hmm imho, that USDA labeling edict seems to cloud more than clarify, but no matter. Basically the difference between the sweet potato and the yam is that the sweet potato is smaller, firmer, and it's outer skin is more of a beige color. Inside it has a tan or yellow color. The yam is larger than the sweet potato. It's outer skin is more of a suede brown, and inside it's color is dark orange. While either the sweet potato or the yam may be used to make a sweet potato pie, the distinction of the two vegetables is why i prefer the yam for this recipe. The description of the sweet potato as "firm" to me is a bit misleading. i've found some that have the consistency of a stone. Also there seems to be less of an aroma to the sweet potato. i have found the yam by contrast to have a slightly sweet fragrance and the give on ones that are ready for cooking feel similar to a softball when squeezed.
Text Credti: Wikipedia
Text Credit: The Grill Sergeants