In Georgia, sweet potato souffle came out on top.
“Sweet potato crops thrive in warm weather, so it’s no surprise that Georgians gravitated to this casserole,” Food Network’s list said. “It has a crunchy topping featuring another of the state’s popular harvests — pecans!”
According to Georgia Grown, the state’s sweet potato market is valued at $2.5 million. Georgia grows five varieties of the spud including the Beauregard, the Evangeline and the most popular one, the Covington.
Americans have been transforming the sweet potato into a marshmallow-topped side dish for more than a century.
SmithsonianMag.com reported sweet potato recipes have been found as far back as 1796 and once American cookbooks began to take off, candied sweet potato recipes began to be published by the likes of agriculturalist and inventor George Washington Carver.
The root vegetable may have been enjoyed for Thanksgiving in the 1800s, but marshmallows weren’t introduced to it until the company Angelus Marshmallows, which was also the original maker of Cracker Jacks, “introduced mass-made marshmallows to Americans in 1907,” according to Vice.
The company was still trying to get Americans to buy and eat marshmallows 10 years later. To do that, they enlisted the help of Boston Cooking School Magazine Janet McKenzie Hill to assist with creating recipes with marshmallows. By 1917, a cookbook had been published featuring “plenty of instant classics, including fudge studded with chewy marshmallows; cups of hot cocoa dotted with them; and, yes, the first documented appearance of mashed sweet potatoes baked with a marshmallow topping,” gourmet food, travel and wine magazine Saveur reported.