Many years ago there was a white meated sweet potato and a yellow meated sweet potato.Then sweet potato growers received a big boost when the red meated Porto Rico variety was introduced. This variety was the standard sweet potato for many years and even today some of the colorful new varieties are described as the Porto Rican type.
Today when folks buy the deep colored new varieties and ask what variety they are, the answer is, I guess that is the red Porto Rico”. The color is beautiful, the taste is delicious and the customer is satisfied.
When it is again time to purchase sweet potatoes or plants, the customer asks for Porto Ricos and we send them Puerto Ricos but then we are in trouble. When they cook the Porto Ricos, they find they are not the beautiful deep orange color they were expecting. Many said that we gave them the wrong potato when we actually gave them the variety they asked for. Centennials, Jewell, Vardaman, Georgia Jets, and Darby all have a deeper color than the red Puerto Rico.
The beautiful color of the new varieties is referred to a red but in reality it is orange. The deep color resembles a carrot or Halloween pumpkin more than red delicious apple.
The confusion does cause problems but many times we have five or six varieties available and can show the housewife size, shape, and color. There is a deep sense of satisfaction when someone says, “That’s exactly what I have been looking for”.