11/21/2009 – Close your eyes and imagine your family's Thanksgiving table. I put good money on it that it includes Louisiana sweet potatoes. Dark orange and full of beta-carotene, we call them yams (from the West African word "djambi" meaning "to eat"). However, they're not really yams. Yams are long, tree-like tubers from Latin America with waxy bark-like skins. Needless to say, I doubt we'll stop calling them yams anytime soon. This time of year, they're great, they're everywhere and we're seeing more white sweet potatoes than ever before.
Over the past hundred years, German surnames have been associated with meats, dairies and bakeries throughout Southeast Louisiana. One German name market shoppers associate with good flavor is Schexnayder, makers of traditional cured meat products.
You'll find them roasting and sampling in a number of area markets. Consider a quick drive to the Wednesday German Coast Farmers Market in St. Charles Parish to meet the Schexnayders on their home turf selling alligator sausage, hogs head cheese, and even beef jerky.
Times-Picayune culinary sleuths Marcelle Bienvenu and Judy Walker are helping local foodies rebuild post-Katrina — one recipe at a time. They stopped by the WWNO studios to talk to our Diane Mack about their latest project: Cooking Up a Storm.
Recipes from Cooking Up A Storm, reprinted with permission from editors Marcelle Bienvenu and Judy Walker