Sweet potato pies have graced Southern holiday tables for years, but many of our Northern friends have never heard of them.

We’re blessed with some of the sweetest and best sweet potatoes grown right here in Louisiana. According to information on the LSU AgCenter’s website, this year’s crop is predicted to be excellent as far as quality and yield. November is when the best of the new crop hits our market; and that’s one of the reasons we use them for everything from side dishes to desserts.

Sweet potato pies are similar to pumpkin pies because the same spices are used in each.

Pumpkin pies are more of a custard-type whereas the sweet potato pie is more whipped potato base.

Yam or sweet potato? If it’s bred in Louisiana and has a soft, moist, sweet flesh, it may be called by either name.

The Beauregard and the Evangeline, developed by the LSU AgCenter scientists, are the most popular varieties.

Corinne Cook is a columnist for The Advocate. Reach her at food@theadvocate.com.