Grower Jimmy Burch on his field of sweet potatoes
John Barnes of Farm Pak
The sweet potato purée is suitable for countless applications, in drinks (for colour, flavour and nutritional value), for baking (as dough and filling for cakes, muffins, doughnuts and rolls), as an energy bar (nutritious ingredient and natural sweetener), for the soup, juice and gravy industry (thickening properties, mouth sensation, flavour and nutrition), as baby food (excellent stand alone dish, or added to other fruit and vegetable purées), as a side (easy to apply to frozen or food service meals).
HAM Farms team
The sweet potato purée is also used as a functional food, as claims can be made of sweet potato purée with vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, fibre, beta-carotene and potassium. The purée is also sold to the ice cream industry, as a healthy snack, as a meat replacement, as animal fodder and speciality stores process the purée into fudge and other sweets. The aseptic packaging is available in 20, 200 and 1,135 litres. Bill Heafy himself sees the bakeries as the biggest potential for his product.
But even more than this is done with Yamco's sweet potato purée. A few years ago the Covington Gourmet Vodka was born. Grower Jimmy Burch originally sold the purée to the Boston Beer Company, who makes Samuel Adams beer, but decided to see whether he could distil the purée into vodka himself. It worked well, in its début year this vodka one a gold medal during the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Bill Heafy of Yamco shows the Covington Gourmet Vodka
Covington is the sweet potato variety currently dominating the cultivation in North Carolina. The vodka is available through