Sweet Potatoes: The Real Deal

History and Heritage of Sweet Potato in Nigeria

Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas), like yams, are loved in Nigeria. Unlike yams though, they are not indigenous; and despite having potato in their name, they are unrelated to the true potato. Sweet potatoes were introduced to Nigeria by the Portuguese in the late 1600s. Today, the white-fleshed variety, with purple or beige skins, has taken root and now features in the top ten of cultivated roots and tubers in Nigeria, up there with cassava, yam and potatoes.

Outside of Nigeria, particularly in North America, other sweet potatoes exist, from Okinawan purple-fleshed ones to the orange-fleshed varieties popular in North America. In fact, in many parts of the world, sweet potatoes are often mislabelled as yams, particularly where true yams are not well known.

Nigeria and Sweet Potatoes

Nigeria is the largest sweet potato producer in West Africa, and one of the largest producers globally.

We enjoy sweet potatoes in many ways – boiled, roasted, fried, pottaged, incorporated into kunun, drink-paps made from cereals and/or grains, with origins in northern Nigeria and more.

Sympli and the Original, Beloved Sweet Potatoes

Sympli Sweet Potato Cubes are the real deal, made from white-fleshed sweet potatoes (not orange-fleshed ones) – just like you remember. And though you can use them in many ways including sweet potato pie, save them for all the ways you enjoyed them back then, and want to now – fried, boiled, pottaged, combined with protein and vegetables to make hash-style meals, and more.

White-fleshed sweet potatoes, unlike orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, are hardy, with higher starch content and relatively low moisture content so that when they are cooked, they are firm-textured and flavourful. They aren’t overly sweet, don’t soften and turn mushy like orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, and so they’re versatile.

At Sympli, we want to be the best partners on this journey with you, sharing great food, delicious like home; and creating lasting opportunities that contribute to Nigeria’s economy. It’s why 3 generations of our family have been here, and why we’ll continue to create products that are delicious, like home.


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Crops and Livestock products. Sweet Potatoes. Retrieved April 8, 2022, from https://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#data/QCL/visualize