Vardaman, Mississippi: The Sweet Potato Capital of the World
Photos by Just Chasing Rabbits
I bet you didn't even know a "Sweet Potato Capital of the World" exists. Well, it does, and it's right here in our home state of Mississippi!
Vardaman's sweet potato history began in 1915 when farmers found that the area's climate and soil were a great match for growing the potatoes, and, by passing the farming tradition down through families, sweet potato farming has continued and grown in the area.
The people of Vardaman have embraced their history and connection with sweet potatoes by celebrating each year at the Vardaman Sweet Potato Festival, and, of course, by naming themselves the "Sweet Potato Capital of the World"!
READ MORE: Our Favorite New Orleans Eats
As you may have read on our blog before, Mississippians definitely know how to cook. So, who should have the best tasting sweet potato recipes other than the experts in Vardaman?
Our trip to the Sweet Potato Capital took us past numerous sweet potato farms and finally to our destination: the hometown bakery known as Sweet Potato Sweets.
At Sweet Potato Sweets, all of their products are made with... You guessed it! Sweet potatoes! And they have more than just sweet potato pie.
We were greeted with smiles and samples of various sweet potato items. We tried three flavors of sweet potato fudge (vanilla, chocolate and peanut butter), sweet potato Yum-Yums (which reminds me of praline treats from New Orleans), and even sweet potato ice cream.
Basically, everything we tried was absolutely delicious ... and I'll be honest: I'm not even a huge fan of sweet potatoes. Or maybe I should say I WASN'T a huge fan of sweet potatoes until I had them in the treats at Sweet Potato Sweets.
We browsed the selection of pies, cookies, breads, cheese straws, pecan sandies, sausage balls, and even salsa!
Finally, Mark decided on the vanilla sweet potato fudge, I picked up a bag of peanut butter sweet potato cookies and a small piece of sweet potato bread, we chose a box full of mini sweet potato pecan pies, and I just had to have a full cup of the nutmeg-licious sweet potato ice cream.
Sweet Potato Sweets has been in business since 1996, and was the genius idea of local farmers' wives. The sweets offered by the bakery make great gifts and edible souvenirs.
We loved seeing locals come in to buy boxes of raw sweet potatoes or to create gift baskets to send to friends and family. The people of the Vardaman area truly love their most well known crop.
Is your mouth already watering for some sweet potato goodness? Check out the Sweet Potato Sweets website to place an order. They ship to all 50 U.S. states.
If you like to buy local and eat local, this is definitely the place to do it.
Are you a fan of sweet potatoes? What is the most unique dish or treat you've seen made from sweet potatoes? Have you visited the Sweet Potato Capital before? Let us know in the comments below!
This story originally appeared on the Just Chasing Rabbits blog.
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