Got an idea for a holiday? Send it to us

Submit Now

ThuFeb 22

Cook a Sweet Potato Day – February 22, 2024

Cook a Sweet Potato Day is celebrated every year on February 22. This vegetable is loved and eaten by millions every day in the United States alone. Many times people confuse sweet potatoes with yams; however, that’s not the case. Cultivars of the sweet potato bear tubers with flesh and skin of many colors.

History of Cook a Sweet Potato Day

Sweet Potatoes are widely consumed by billions across the globe and mainly in America. This sweet root vegetable is very versatile and is used in salads and soups and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, snack, or dinner. The most important part of the vegetable is the starchy tuberous roots. Nevertheless, the leaves and shoots are also edible. Eating cooked tubers can increase their nutritional value and digestibility; however, many American colonists in the Southeast consumed raw sweet potatoes.

Sweet potatoes are a distant relative of the common potato as they both belong in the order Solanales. It is believed that before Western exploration, sweet potatoes were grown in Polynesia. Later, it is said they have spread to Central or South America typically through the spread of vine cuttings rather than seeds. In fact, it is believed that Central America domesticated sweet potatoes around 5,000 years ago. According to the Peruvian sweet potato remnants found in South America, it has been observed that they date back to 8000 B.C.

In 1594, sweet potatoes were introduced in the Fujian province of China from Luzon. Governor Chin Hsüeh-Tseng (Jin Xuezeng) further encouraged growing sweet potatoes. In the year 2019, the global production of sweet potatoes was measured at 92 million tonnes. China led this production with 56% of the world’s total.

Sweet potatoes also arrived in Europe and it is recorded in “Elinor Fettiplace’s Receipt Book,” compiled in England in 1604.

Cook a Sweet Potato Day timeline

16th Century
Sweet Potatoes Become a Delicacy

Sweet Potatoes are introduced in Europe and declared a delicacy.

1521 — 1598
Sweet Potatoes in the Philippines

Sweet potatoes are introduced in the Philippines.

Sweet Potatoes in Korea

Sweet potatoes are introduced in Korea.

North’s Carolina’s State Vegetable

The General Assembly officially designates sweet potatoes as the state vegetable.

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.