Sweet potatoes are a staple of Gullah cuisine that can be traced all the way back to West Africa, where it was a vital part of the region's agriculture thousands of years ago. Yes, yams and sweet potatoes are technically different (from a botanical perspective, they’re not even distantly related!), but it wasn’t too difficult of a leap for descendants of West African slaves in the American South to replace one root with the other. If you’re looking to delve into Gullah-style cooking, why not try some of these dishes? Here are two ways to prepare sweet potatoes as a perfect side or dessert to compliment a Gullah-Geechee meal.

Sweet Potato Pone

  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup dark cane sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • ½ teaspon salt
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  1. Peel and grate sweet potatoes.
  2. Add other ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  3. Pour into greased baking dish and cook in slow oven at 300 degrees F until done, about 1 hour.

Sweet Potato Pie

  • 4 medium-sized sweet potatoes
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • ½ can evaporated milk
  1. Cook potatoes until done in boiling water.
  2. Peel while hot and slice butter over them.
  3. Mash and beat with rotary beaters at high speed in a deep bowl.
  4. When smooth, rinse beaters and continue beating at high speed, adding sugar gradually.
  5. When dissolved, add eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Beat a few more minutes.
  6. Stir in milk gently. Pour mixture into 2 unbaked 9-inch pie shells.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes or until firm in center.