Food & Drink The Surpising Difference Between a Sweet Potato and a Yam

09:56  12 september  2017
09:56  12 september  2017 Source:   Taste of Home

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Do you know the difference between a yam and a sweet potato ? Would you be surprised if I told you that all those times you thought you were eating yams , you were likely eating a sweet potato , and that you probably haven't ever actually had a true yam ?

Yam vs Sweet Potato : the truth is what you’ve been calling a yam is most likely a sweet potato . So what’s the difference between yams and sweet potatoes ?

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Which one have you been eating this whole time? There's only one way to find out. 

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Though sweet potatoes and yams are both root vegetables, they taste different , have different nutritional qualities, and come from Here in WR there is some confusion between the two. The stores label the smooth red skin as yams , and the rougher,white skinned and narrower as sweet potato !

Which one have you been eating this whole time? There's only one way to find out.

Hold onto your hats, because I'm about to drop some knowledge that might blow you away: Sweet potatoes and yams are not the same things. And most likely, you have never tasted a yam.

If you're as stunned by this news as I was, you'll want to know the truth. What have you been serving on your Thanksgiving dinner table? Did you think that sweet potato casserole was really filled with yams? Let's find out.

Sweet potatoes sitting in a hanging metal dish against a forest backdrop © Provided by Taste of Home Sweet potatoes sitting in a hanging metal dish against a forest backdrop

What's the Difference?

Sweet potatoes are the orange or copper-tan root vegetable you'd find at most grocery stores. They're a member of the morning glory botanical family. Yams, on the other hand, are related to lilies, palms and grasses. They grow primarily in the tropics and can usually be found only in ethnic grocery stores in the U.S. And neither one is really a potato.

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Learn how to tell the difference between sweet potatoes and yams , plus useful information about both varieties. Many times the names " sweet potato " and " yam " are used interchangeably in conversation, in cooking and even at the supermarket.

Do you know the difference between a yam and a sweet potato ? Would you be surprised if I told you that all those times you thought you were eating yams , you were likely eating a sweet potato , and that you probably haven't ever actually had a true yam ?

Fun fact: These tubers aren't potatoes. The term "sweet potato" is a misnomer. Real potatoes like your trusty russet belong to the nightshade family.

Not sold yet? You can distinguish a yam from a sweet potato before you even bite in. Sweet potatoes have thin, smooth skin and orange or white flesh. Yams have rough, dark skin with an almost hairy texture, and the flesh inside is often white or purple. While you can find potato-sized varieties of both, yams are typically larger and can be up to five feet long!

And those reddish-brownish garnet yams? They're sweet potatoes with a false identity.

The taste is equally distinguishing. Sweet potatoes are flavorful and moist while yams are often starchy and dry. Looks like it's a good thing we don't use them for our sweet potato pie.

So Why Do Some People Refer to Sweet Potatoes as "Yams"? 

Let's take a look at history, shall we? Back in pre-Civil War America, grocers typically only sold white-fleshed sweet potatoes. When the orange variety was introduced into the market, sellers wanted to distinguish the new species from the old. Instead of explaining how the two sweet potatoes were actually varieties of the same plant, producers and shippers began calling the orange ones "yams," after the African word nyami meaning "to eat."

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Surprising Ideas. Q: What is the difference between a sweet potato and a yam ? My boyfriend and I are in love with " sweet potato fries" so I shop for them frequently, usually grabbing whichever is in stock.

Sweet potatoes and yams are similar enough to use either of them in the dish, but I never really knew the difference between them — so I decided to find out. 7 surprising facts about dragonflies. Like did you know they can fly backward, have almost 360-degree vision and they're ferocious?

Today, you might still find produce labeled as yams in a grocery store, but more likely than not, it's mislabeled.

Now that you know the difference, impress your family across the dinner table by explaining that you could never make your extra-crunchy sweet potato fries with yams! And while you're at it, check out our list of amazing ways to love sweet potatoes. They'll win over even the pickiest of eaters!

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