Yam, Sweet potato is there a difference? I have always heard that they were the same. On the cooking shows they say they are different. In the U.S. they appear the same. They label two-similar looking tubers- some labeled as yams, and some as sweet potatoes.
Would it surprise you to know that you have more than likely never eaten a true yam? Whenever you thought you were eating a yam it was likely a sweet potato. Though yam, sweet potato do mean different things at the grocery store.
By the U.S. markets using yam, sweet potato vise versa there is a lot of confusion. Two very different vegetables, the yam, sweet potato.
One thing that I have learned is: a sweet potato is not a type of yam and a yam is not a type of sweet potato. Even though they both come from the tuberous vegetable family. And both grow on a flowering plant, the similarities stop there.
The majority of yams come from Africa, with a few coming from Asia. They can be as small in size as a regular potato or grow to be five feet long. yams are a relative of the lily family. Their skin is black or brown, kind of bark like. The yam has white, purple or reddish flesh. Yams are starchier and drier than sweet potatoes.
Look for yams in international or specialty markets. They are becoming more popular in U.S. supermarkets though.
Sweet potatoes come from the morning glory family and have many varieties. An elongated tuber with a tapered end has flesh of white, yellow, red, purple or brown. The tasty flesh on the inside can be white, yellow, orange or orange-red.
Of the many varieties of sweet potatoes gown in the US, firm and soft types differentiate them. The golden skin and paler flesh of the firm sweet potato means that they will cook up firm and remain a little waxy. The copper skin and orange flesh of the soft sweet potato will cook up creamy and fluffy.
So why is the grocery store calling them yams? There is a little history to explain this. The first variety of sweet potato in the U.S. was the firm variety. When the soft variety began to be produced there was no way to differentiate from them. Since the soft sweet potato resembled the yam, they picked up the name and became labeled as yams.
So at Thanksgiving when you want to make that baked sweet potato or that sweet potato casserole. Make sure to buy what's labeled a yam. The soft sweet potato. Being familiar with the kind of sweet potato you need for your recipe will help you make a great dish.
What do you know about yam, sweet potatoes?
Make sure you check out the suggestions page to learn some other helpful hints!
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