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Definition: Yam

Sometimes confused with the sweet potato, this root vegetable is not related to the potato. Native to South and Central America, as well as many parts of Asia and Africa, there are over 150 different varieties. Yams have starchy flesh in either off-white, yellow, purple, or pink. Their skin is normally pale to dark brown. Although they have more moisture and natural sugar, they can be interchanged with sweet potatoes in most recipes.


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johninlongmont johninlongmont 8 years
you've actually made the debate much worse by putting up a photo of a sweet potato, and calling it a yam
terryt18 terryt18 9 years
I'm just gonna keep pretending they are the same.
urbngirl urbngirl 9 years
So confused... thought they were the same. After reading the comments, I'm wondering... are they the same?
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Sooo good for you too.
OldSchooler OldSchooler 9 years
These comments have been really informative. My local supermarket sells "yams" (like the one pictured) as sweet potatoes.
apinkpony apinkpony 9 years
Yes -- our "yams" and sweet potatoes are the same thing. Real yams are from Africa. Hence folks in the south called them yams because african americans thought they looked like the yams from their homeland. They aren't related to potatoes though.
emalove emalove 9 years
Yams are delicious, they're just like sweet potatoes which are my favorite!!
Rachel419 Rachel419 9 years
I love yams!
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 9 years
I love yams! My maternal grandmother made them a lot for T-day.
kiddylnd kiddylnd 9 years
juju I was just about to say the same thing! I believe that most Yams in the US are just a certain variety of sweet potato variety.
juju4 juju4 9 years
I've been watching waaay too much Food Network this week, and on several shows they said that an actual Yam is usually not found in the US. A long time ago, people in Georgia started calling Georgia sweet potatoes "yams" as a way to distinguish them, but really they are just sweet potatoes.
Soniabonya Soniabonya 9 years
I always, always get these two mixed up. My sister and mom make yams not sweet potatoes. We bake em in corn syrup, light and dark, with brown sugars. We top em off with whipped cream and sometimes marshmallows. :feedme:
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Mmmmm yum Yams are soooo god !
mamaseacat mamaseacat 9 years
I did not know that. I always thought they were the same. Thanks for the tidbit.
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