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Sweet potato tots served at Mac's Place Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, in Charleston. Grace Beahm/Staff

Meet sweet potato tots

Just like the familiar white potato version, sweet potato tots feature a tuber grated, shaped and fried until crisp. Cylindrical tots are usually a bit bigger than a gumball, no matter what kind of potato is used to make them.

Learn the backstory

When F. Nephi and Golden Grigg invented Tater Tots, they weren’t looking for extra vegetables. The Ore-Ida founders had a surplus of potato slivers from fry production. But 64 years later, the snack’s fans are eager to subject all style of vegetables to the tot treatment, including sweet potatoes. Other modern tots include zucchini tots, chickpea tots and cauliflower tots.

But tot innovations aren’t always healthful. In the years since the development of hot dish, tots have appeared on pizza crusts, in place of tortillas in enchiladas, atop burgers and as a base for nachos-inspired “totchos.” In almost every case, sweet potato tots can be substituted for their plain potato kin.

And order it here

Mac’s Place, 215 East Bay St. No. 100, 843-793-4653, macsplacecharleston.com (Sweet potato tots, $4.50. From the menu: “Add melted shredded cheese blue cheese crumbles, bacon or chili for a small charge.”)

— Hanna Raskin

Reach Hanna Raskin at 843-937-5560 and follow her on Twitter @hannaraskin.

Food editor and chief critic

Eating all of the chicken livers just as fast as I can.