“Ahh!” I gasped, turning to my driver. “ARE THOSE SWEET POTATOES?!” I yelled aloud in the store. He seemed to politely ignore my truly American, loud, and excited outbursts yet again.
I gazed upon the misshapen glory of the elongated tuber and wanted to hold it close to my chest, like I had just given birth to it after years of trying, a hard labor, and having my arse exposed in a cold hospital gown. THAT is how happy I was to find a sweet potato in Lagos.
An American, long, ugly, orange-fleshed sweet potato, here, right here, in West Africa. Indeed, the heavens had not forgotten me when I landed near the equator.
“I do not know if it is what you want,” my driver finally said. He took one, marched over to the completely apathetic vegetable weigh boy (that’s a real job here), asked him if it was indeed a sweet potato. The young man lazily shrugged his shoulders.
I coyly said, “It’s ok, we will take th—” but before I could get the words out, my driver was scraping the skin from the potato, right in front of the vegetable weigh boy. I was horrified, even though no one in Lagos seemed to give a damn. I stood aside as the little flecks of potato skin fell onto the floor. The vegetable weigh boy was so disinterested; he barely even rolled his eyes at us.
The removed skin revealed the answer to the question in my heart: YES, those were sweet potatoes.
Now, what does one do with some beloved sweet potatoes? Boil them, sprinkle on salt and cinnamon, and eat them? HELL NALL YOU LOSERS! You make sweet potato souffle.
Since I was unfamiliar with how to make it, I used the recipe linked below and added 1/4 teaspoon of orange extract. It left the end product a little tangy, so if you’re into that flavor, add a little orange extract. If you’re new to cooking or you’re taking this to the Queen’s house, leave out the extract and try it without, just to be on the safe side.
Recipe can be found here:
After you get your filling all done, then you make a sweet and crunchy topping to go on top. I did not have coconut or the means to get some (the driver had already left for the day), so I did not use it. Guess where those pecans came from? An African exporter who exports things from the States to Lagos…well, he KIND OF exports your stuff. Some of my stuff never made it here and I had to retrieve it when I went home last time but that’s another story and blog post. However, those nuts did arrive and look, they’re famous now! They’re on the internet!
The souffle looked great and was ready to go into the oven. It’s baked at 350F but we are outside of the USA so I baked these at 175C (which is the equivalent in the metric system that is used literally everywhere else on the planet except America).
After baking, it looked like this. I patiently waited for R to come home to try some. He said it was “Pretty tasty” which is the equivalent of him either saying “This is acceptable” or “This is edible” or “I would eat this again.” I count that as a win.
Do you have a sweet potato recipe that you’d like to share with me and my readers? Leave a link in the comment section below.
Until tomorrow, my friends…