“Sweet Potatoes” Just Regular Potatoes Dyed Orange

Evelyn Levine

Burger night at the dining halls is always exciting, especially because of one specialty item: sweet potato fries. While it seems that nothing complements a burger more than a pickle and a soda, the orange crunchy goodness that is a sweet potato fry trumps any old cucumber sitting in salt water. Not only do sweet potato fries taste delicious, but we can also claim they are good for us, with vitamins B6, C, E, calcium, iron and beta-carotene and all sorts of other things that regular old potatoes don’t have as much of. But what if those fries and all the Bon Appétit sweet potatoes were just regular potatoes?

I had gotten word from trusted sources in Prentiss kitchen that the sweet potatoes are not what they seem. I had to check this out for myself, so I went undercover and got a job at Prentiss serving and making sure to never let a plate re-cross the sterile area behind the counter. It took a month to finally get the scoop.

I was working in the serving line on burger night, a ranking you have to build up to. I made sure to give the sweet potato fries out quickly. When the last prepared tray finally ran out, I said I was going to the back to get a new tray. That is when I learned the secret Bon App had been hiding.

A strange sweet smell emanated from the back kitchen and when I followed it, I found three large metal pots full of sweet potatoes in orange liquid. But they weren’t sweet potatoes: They were normal potatoes in orange water. I quit my job at Bon App that night, but not before I confronted the new head chef and asked him about the potatoes. He said it wasn’t something he originally wanted to do:

“It’s not right to trick people, but Bon App just couldn’t afford the potatoes––the sweet potatoes, the yams––at every meal, all the time.” So they cut back, and out went the sweet potatoes until the head chef realized he could dye the regular potatoes in natural orange dye that would simultaneously sweeten the white potatoes and turn them orange. There is no need to panic. The dyed potatoes won’t harm you; however, they will break your heart.