The sweet potato is native to the Americas and has been consumed since prehistoric times. Artifacts portraying the sweet potato date back to 10,000 B.C. Sweet potato pie is a thoroughly American dessert particularly popular in African American and Southern cuisine. Sweet potatoes actually got their alternate name, yams, from black slaves, who found them familiar to the yams grown in Africa.
An early recipe for sweet potato pie comes from the cookbook What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking published in 1881 by Abby Fisher, a former slave. While her recipe calls for boiling the sweet potatoes to soften them, this recipe calls for baking the sweet potatoes in order to preserve the nutrients. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of Vitamin A, as well as a very good source of Vitamin C and manganese and a good source of copper, dietary fiber, Vitamin B6, potassium and iron.