My other half informs me there is nothing remotely interesting to be said about the sweet potato. We'll see about that, shall we?

Let me take you on a culinary journey. Prepare yourself for a fanfare of a feast, a celebration of the delicacies of er, um, well... you know, a root vegetable.

I kid you not, it's root life as we know it, but a whole lot tastier and quite a bit more nutritious, too.

Sweet potatoes shouldn't be confused with ordinary spuds, which are tubers rather than roots.

Some scientists think they existed in prehistoric times, so even dinosaurs may have had them for tea.

Native to South and Central America, they were recorded by early Spanish explorers and called "batatas" by the American Indians.

Sweet potatoes have extraordinary value since their total nutritional content exceeds that of many other vegetables.

There are two main varieties, the sweet orange fleshed ones, and thecreamy-coloured drier types.

An excellent source of fibre if eaten along with their skins, they are low in fat, supply protein, potassium, calcium and the vitamins C and E.

The reddish sweet potatoes are also unusually high in powerful antioxidants called carotenoids.

Carotenoids are found in red, yellow, orange and green leafy vegetables.

The carotenoid family has over 600 members, of which, the most commonly known are beta and alpha-carotene (sweet potato, carrots), lycopene (tomatoes), lutein (greens), zeaxanthin (corn) and capsanthin (paprika).

Carotenoid pigments shield plants from the powerful energy of sunlight and do the same for humans to protect them against sunburn.

So before your next holiday, eat plenty of sweet potatoes.

You'll develop a nice ruddy glow and may save on tanning lotions.

In Africa, sweet potatoes are seen not just as a delicious treat but as a potential life-saver.

In remote sub-Saharan terrain, millions of children under five suffer blindness and are much more vulnerable to infection due to a lack of vitamin A.

Although plant foods don't contain vitamin A, the human body is able to convert beta-carotene into vitamin A.

Sweet potatoes are therefore an ideal choice with their high carotene content.

It is hoped that African people in rural areas, beyond the reach of supplement programs, can be helped by the incorporation of sweet potatoes into their diets.

So what can you do with sweet potatoes?

Anything and everything because they are so versatile and tasty. If you're in a hurry, grate some raw over your salad.

You could try rubbing a little oil on them and bake them in the oven for 30-40 mins.

Or they are good steamed and served with a little butter and a green salad.

Surprisingly, once cooked and mashed, sweet potatoes make great desserts. Ever tried Sweet Potato Pie or Pudding?

Children love sweet potato bread and muffins or smoothies containing sweet potatoes, orange juice and yoghurt.

Still think of them as boring? Taste and test for yourself.