Learn to make Taqueria del Sol’s spicy Mexican sweet potatoes


When Greg Hutchins of Heritage Farm in Carroll County finds a vegetable he likes, he sticks with it. Collards? He grows the varieties Vates and Georgia because he knows he can depend on them to produce sweet, tender greens.

For sweet potatoes, he grows Beauregard. “I planted my first garden in 1980 when I was 16 years old. I started planting sweet potatoes about 10 years later and went with Beauregard. I haven’t grown any other kind in all these years. My friends grow other varieties, so if I want something different, I can get it from them.”

Beauregard is a variety developed in the late 1980s by the folks at Louisiana State University. The flesh is deep orange and delicious and it’s a potato that stores really well. You’ll find Hutchins selling his sweet potatoes at the Saturday morning Roswell Farmers Market which ends this month, and the Peachtree Road, Brookhaven and Sandy Springs farmers markets.

He also sells year-round through his website at heritagefarm.locallygrown.net.

Hutchins put in 500 sweet potato slips this year. He buys his certified organic slips from Johnny’s Selected Seeds in Maine.

Sweet potatoes are planted from slips, not seed. If you have a sweet potato around for a while, sometimes it will start sending up shoots. Those shoots are also called slips. They’re twisted off the potatoes and the shoots are planted.

Sweet potatoes spend a lot of time in the ground. Hutchins planted his slips in the fields in early May and by late September he was able to begin harvesting.

“We do what we call a test dig. We dig around a couple vines to see what size potatoes we have. By late September we were ready to bush hog the patch and pull up all the sweet potatoes.”

He lets the potatoes sit about two weeks before he begins to sell them. That’s called “curing” the potatoes and they’ll keep better if they’ve been treated this way. At home, he suggests his customers keep their sweet potatoes in a dry place below 70 degrees.

“Sweet potatoes will keep really well at 50 to 60 degrees, but not many people have a place that cool. We keep ours in the basement stored in one layer in ventilated plastic boxes. They do fine.”

As for how he enjoys his sweet potatoes, he says there’s not a way he won’t eat them.

“My favorite is the sweet potato soufflé we do at Thanksgiving. But I like them baked in a cast-iron skillet, skin on. Just split them open and eat them skin and all. That’s how my grandma used to serve them.”

Taqueria del Sol’s Mexican-Style Spicy Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Eddie Hernandez sent us this recipe that’s a nice twist on the usual sweeter treatments of sweet potatoes. The addition of basil as a garnish is a surprise and it’s delicious.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Food

At an American escargot farm, growth proceeds at a snail's pace
At an American escargot farm, growth proceeds at a snail's pace

Life on the nation's only USDA-certified snail farm is, as one might imagine, pretty slow. And quiet. And small, with the entire farm contained within one 300-square-foot greenhouse in the middle of Long Island's wine country. At Peconic Escargot, 30,000 to 50,000 petit gris snails coexist in large plastic bins of dirt, munching on wild greens, living...
Where to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in Chicago's West Loop 
Where to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in Chicago's West Loop 

Just on the other side of the river from downtown Chicago is West Loop, which was and remains an active industrial district. The city wears its blue collar proudly, and it was in this neighborhood that organized labor staged a rally in 1886 advocating for the eight-hour work day, an event that devolved into a deadly riot. In recent years, the area...
Henri’s Bakery reopening in Sandy Springs and other metro Atlanta dining news from the week
Henri’s Bakery reopening in Sandy Springs and other metro Atlanta dining news from the week

Here are the stories that made a splash in the Atlanta food world this week.  The Sandy Springs location of Henri’s Bakery & Cafe is reopening at 7 a.m. July 21. The remodeled store now features stainless steel countertops, white subway tile, quartz tables and a new banquette. To celebrate the new space at 6289 Roswell Road, the eatery is...
7 Atlanta places where you can comfortably enjoy the rain
7 Atlanta places where you can comfortably enjoy the rain

When there’s a lot of rain in the forecast, sometimes it’s tempting to just curl up at home with a good movie without even looking outside. However, there are plenty of places around Atlanta where you can watch the rain yet stay comfortably warm and dry. Dancing Goats Coffee Bar: With plenty of chairs and ceiling-to-floor windows...
Go behind-the-scenes at Atlanta’s Hattie B’s Hot Chicken
Go behind-the-scenes at Atlanta’s Hattie B’s Hot Chicken

Lines have been out the door since Nashville-based Hattie B’s Hot Chicken opened its first Atlanta location earlier this month in Little 5 Points.  We went behind the scenes with director of culinary options Brian “BMo” Morris to get a taste of what’s being cooked up at the spicy chicken purveyor’s newest spot...
More Stories