If you watched Oprah Winfrey’s show entitled “Oprah’s Favorite Sandwich” which aired on October 28, 2004 and January 26, 2005, and included her “Best of Everything” list, then you now know that sweet potatoes are one of her favorite foods.

The show included everything from the best chocolate, champagne, cookie, banana pudding, chicken waffles, meatballs, tacos, catfish and Oprah’s favorite sandwich — to delectable sweet potatoes grown in Golden, Texas. These are some of the foods that have tempted Oprah, Colin Cowie and other celebrities like Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Chris Rock, Maya Angelou and Alicia Keys.

It was a great show. But, if you missed it, you can still watch the Golden Sweet Potato segment. You will need QuickTime. Just click here: small screen (3.66 MB) or a bit larger screen (16.2 MB). You can also follow the links or read what was said below. Thank you Oprah!

 

 

Golden Sweet Potatoes by Oprah Winfrey
(Oprah saved the very best for last!)

Now, I just have to tell you about one more of my favorite foods. Harold and Annette Simmons are my dear friends and neighbors in California although they live most of the time in Dallas. Dahhh-luss! Everyone say "Dahhh-luss." Well, they know how much I love sweet potatoes and a while back Annette sent me a bunch.

I was having one for a snack. I love sweet potatoes and I'm telling you it was pure heaven. They have found the purest, sweetest sweet potatoes, the best sweet potatoes I've ever had. And so I called Annette and Harold right away to ask, "Where on earth did you get these sweet potatoes?" Turns out they're from a small Texas town, where sweet potatoes are so popular, they even have their own special day. My friend Annette joins us with a very special report on this Golden delicacy. Hey Annette!

Golden Sweet Potato Festival by Annette Simmons

Hi Oprah! Here we are at the 22nd annual Sweet Potato Festival (held annually in October since 1982) in Golden, Texas — home of your favorite sweet potatoes. Come on, let's get started.

Golden is a small town 80 miles east of Dallas, population 150. It's a little bit hard to find. Don't look for it on the map. There's a restaurant called "The Domino Grill." There's a post office. There's a grocery. That's about it. (Golden is located at the intersection of Farm Road 1799 and Farm Road 779, just off U.S. Highway 69, four or five miles Northwest of Mineola in Southwest Wood County).

The day starts with a parade. The families come out. They play the games. (A young child in the background yells, “sweet pah-tay-tahs.” and the audience laughs). They have a bake off. Everything is cooked with sweet potatoes. Oprah look at these ... (Annette gestured to a long trail of tables filled with scrumptious-looking sweet potato pies).

There are only nine sweet potato farmers here and most of them are third generation farmers. Each year they harvest about 2 million pounds of sweet potatoes. (The camera panned to the two young sons of Kelly Hamrick, a Golden farmer). "The sweet potatoes are so good here in Golden, Texas, because we have the best soil," (says one boy).

Oprah, the highlight of the Sweet Potato Festival is the auction. And it raises more than 30,000 dollars and the proceeds go to needy families in Golden. You know the top bidders get their photo made with Miss Texas. And you know Harold's been here a lot of years.

Where is Harold? (The camera pans over to Bill Galyean, Miss Texas and Harold. Miss Texas is standing in the middle. All three are facing the camera with their arms around each others waist and smiling. Harold is positely glowing). "Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Oprah" (they all sing in unison). I enjoyed being your tour guilde today, Oprah. They're so delicious. Bye, Oprah.

 

A Final Golden Moment With Oprah

Annette, good job. You see why I'm talkin like this (Oprah says with a southern accent)? Can you imagine? In Golden they have fewer people than we have in the audience. Half of the audience is the entire town.

So, since Harold Simmons is always the highest bidder at the Sweet Potato Auction every year, Annette was able to pull some strings. Because now, I know this is going to shock ya, but everybody in the audience gets to take home some Grade A sweet potatoes. (Oprah holds up a special bag of sweet potatoes which also included a cookbook, and the audience goes wild with applause and delightful screams).

Sweet potatoes straight from Golden, Texas. (Oprah holds up a beautiful sweet potato in the palm of her hand). Look at that baby! Thank you! Thank you Golden, Texas, thank you! It's the prettiest sweet potato. Have you ever seen a sweet potato prettier than that? (The audience says "Noooooooooooo"). Little sweet potato baby. Thank you Golden, Texas. Thank you Annette! No, thank YOU, Oprah. We love you! Here's our tribute to the Golden Sweet Potato Festival.