How Sweet It Is--The 2007 Yamboree! - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/18/07-Gilmer

How Sweet It Is--The 2007 Yamboree!

Peeled, baked, or fried.  It's party time in yam country. Everything yams is in full swing at the now famous Yamboree in Gilmer. KLTV's Tracy Watler was there to find out just how sweet it is.

The almighty yam--a vegetable so special it has two names and even a 70-year old festival named for it. But we wanted to know why the yam?

"You can eat it raw number one," says Steve Jarvis, a local farmer.

Well, besides being able to eat it raw, people say the yam is kind of like a potato, only better.

"Slice them up and fry them, like french fries, if you have french fries out of sweet potatoes you'll never go back to regular fries, sorry McDonald's," Jarvis laughs.

And the Yamboree has figured out just about every way to honor the super-vegetable, including pie.

"It's made with yams!" explains Jewell Richards when asked what makes a yam pie so special.

But not everyone is sold on the idea of having a whole festival named after a vegetable.

"Okay Christmas makes sense cause you get presents and they're all for me, but yams...not really," explains Alec Graichen, a first timer at the Yamboree.

Well, maybe "yam characters" will win him over from "Yammah Montana" to an award-winning possum.

"It's just kind of funny, all that stuff is made by yams," Alec says.

So there is a lot do with a yam, including..."celebrate the yam!" says Jarvis.

But just don't expect kids to eat more vegetables because of it.  "Don't bet on it," Alec jokes.

Unless of course it's in one of Gilmer's famous yam pies.

The Yamboree is going on in Gilmer through Saturday.

Tracy Watler/Reporting: tracy@kltv.com

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