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difference between yam and sweet potato

What's the Difference Between Sweet Potatoes and Yams? True (botanical) Sweet Potatoes are pictured below. Otherwise, they’re not closely related, said Alyssa Pike, manager of nutrition communications at the International Food Information Council Foundation. All the varieties described below are technically sweet potatoes, though they’re often called yams. What is a yam? Ironically, when you want a classic baked sweet potato, with a crisp skin and fluffy orange flesh, or sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole, what you should buy will be probably labeled yam. Zen Rial/Getty Images, Allrecipes is part of the Meredith Food Group. All rights reserved. Sweet potatoes are a rich source of fiber and a multitude of vitamins and minerals, including iron and vitamin C. Sweet potatoes are often touted as being healthier than white potatoes, but in reality, both types can be highly nutritious. But back then, the sweet potato was also white or yellow in … Sweet potatoes are, well, sweet and moist, some more than others. As a result, you won’t have to add as much butter, oil, or cream in order to enjoy them, says Bauer. Sweet Potatoes. Labels on produce bins at the supermarket don't help much. Epicurious may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. Since the white sweet potato can be incorporated into sweet or savory dishes, the possibilities are endless. Answer: Although history explains the confusion between these two and the USDA attempted to solve the confusion, confusion still exists… even with stores that sell the product! Compared to sweet potatoes, yams are less sweet and much more starchy and dry. Sweet potatoes on the other hand, have a lighter skin, with tapered ends, and a light yellow to deep orange flesh. So at a typical supermarket, what you're buying is an American-grown sweet potato. [Photograph: Shutterstock] It's not always easy to tell varieties of orange sweet potatoes apart. This is the main difference between yams and sweet potatoes. As a result, you won’t have to add as much butter, oil, or cream in order to enjoy them, says Bauer. Hint: There really isn’t a difference between a sweet potato and yam, according to this article. Floortje/Getty Images, | They have a higher sugar content than sweetpotatoes and can grow to be enormous! . . this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. The prevailing theory seems to date to the slave-era South, where sweet potatoes were established as a crop and dubbed yams, a shortened form of the African word nyami, which means "to eat," McIver said. These vegetables both provide key nutrients, but one is a root and the other is a tuber. Unlike the sweetpotato, yams must be cooked to be safely eaten. Traditionally, sweet potato and yam skins are removed before consumption, so I err on the side of caution and do the same. Nutritional value. Try butter-roasted sweet potatoes; sweet potato salad; twice-baked sweet potatoes or simply dice and roast in the oven for an easy side dish. This is the main difference between yams and sweet potatoes. There's also a version of sweet potato that has a thin yellow skin and yellow flesh, though those are less common. This recipe is crazy simple to make too! Sweet potatoes generally have an orange flesh and a maroon or copper skin. "They are just... ugly," said Kelly McIver, executive director of the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission. It starts with where they come from. The FDA, which regulates food labeling, doesn't have a so-called standard of identity for either sweet potatoes or yams, so either term works. A true yam, not a "yam," has a rough (typically darker) bark-like skin, is starchier and drier compared to sweet potatoes, and is native to Africa or Asia. Because yams are typically only sold in specialty stores, you probably won't find real yams in your everyday grocery store. In parts of Africa, yams are known as "nyami." Yam. © 2020 Condé Nast. Yams and sweet potatoes aren't even botanical kin. © Copyright 2020, Our Top 20 Most Cherished Christmas Cookies, Make-Ahead Breakfast Minis to Save Your Mornings, 15 Classic Sandwiches That Make Lunch Legendary, 14 Nights of Dinner Ideas All Under $2 Per Serving, 15 No-Yeast Breads for Quick and Easy Baking, 10 Easy Christmas Cookies for Once-a-Year Bakers, 9 Chicken Stew Recipes That Make for Comforting Dinners, 10 Leftover Turkey Meals to Freeze for Quick Weeknight Dinners, 16 Mom-Approved Christmas Cookies to Sweeten the Season, 18 Spicy Korean Recipes That Showcase Gochujang Chile Paste, By They are sweeter than the sweet potato and can grow over seven feet in length. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). In contrast, sweet potatoes are dicot plants or in other words, a plant having two embryonic seed leaves and belong to the Convolvulaceae family. Question: What’s the difference between a sweet potato and a yam? In the 1900s sweet potato sellers started promoting red-skinned sweet potatoes as yams. Yams are dry, starchy root vegetables, closer in flavor to yucca than the sweet potatoes you bake with marshmallows or roast for a kale salad. Try turning them into mashed sweet potatoes. Most yams have a drier, potato-like starchiness than most sweet potatoes, which tend to have a rich flavor and, in some cases, creamy texture. A sweet potato has tapered ends and thin, smooth skin and flesh that can range from light beige to burnished orange to purplish, even. To find these, look for sweet potatoes that feel heavy for their size. Yam. One of the slight differences between jewels and garnets is that jewel sweet potatoes have copper colored skin, slightly lighter than garnets. Sweet potatoes generally have an orange flesh and a maroon or copper skin. Credit: Actual sweet potatoes have short, smooth skinned roots with tapered ends whereas actual yams are long and cylindrical with rough, scaly skins. Preparation is a time-consuming process involving several minutes of pounding and boiling to remove toxins. In the United States, the terms “yam” and “sweet potato” are used interchangeably, but they are completely different vegetables. One of the slight differences between jewels and garnets is that jewel sweet potatoes have copper colored skin, slightly lighter than garnets. Regular potatoes like russets, meanwhile, are considered part of the nightshade family, which means that … You can find sugary sweet potatoes with snow-white flesh, and purple-fleshed sweet potatoes that taste like nuts. There's also a version of sweet potato that has a thin yellow skin and yellow flesh, though those are less common. In parts of Africa, yams are known as "nyami." Get ideas for swapping in sweet potatoes. INGREDIENTS: * 8 ounces bacon * 1 onion, diced * 1 red bell pepper, diced * Salt and freshly ground black pepper * 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch cubes * 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme * 1 loaf crusty bread, sliced * 3 tablespoons butter, softened * 8 eggs DIRECTIONS: 1. No gift befits the food-obsessed people in your life like a cookbook. Nutritional value. The sweet potato that most Americans would classify as standard is a Covington, Beauregard, Garnet, or Jewel: It's orange on the inside, mildly sweet and moist. Yams and sweet potatoes are two different plants. Sweetpotato. Yams have rough, dark skin with an almost hairy texture, and the flesh inside is often white or purple. Yams are starchy and dry. So let’s get things straight: A sweet potato is not a yam. the thing that I’m having the hardest time finding out is the nutritional info on the “yam” Are the carbs the same as the sweet potato or do they fall under the yam nutrition profile. There is, however, plenty of mistaking the sweet potato itself: it's often referred to as a yam, and vice versa. Many times the names \"sweet potato\" and \"yam\" are used interchangeably in conversation, in cooking and even at the supermarket, but they are really two different vegetables. Sweet potatoes are members of the morning glory family. Sweet Potatoes. Ad Choices. Even its carbohydrates are complex, which means a sweet potato doesn't produce the energy bursts and dips associated with white bread and potato chips. A yam is not a sweet potato. Originally from Africa and Asia, yams have darker, brownish and sometimes rougher external skin. Sweet potatoes can even be eaten raw: Try grating them over a salad for a colorful garnish. Even though cooks use the words yams and sweet potatoes interchangeably,  they're not the same plant at all. In certain nutritional categories, a sweet potato is possibly the best thing you could eat. Sweet Potato Hash with Bacon! Plus, a single medium sweet potato provides 90 percent of the vitamin A you need all day, and 35 percent of your Vitamin C allowance. Avoid bruises and soft spots; dirt on the potato is fine. Yams, however, are a totally different vegetable that either type of sweet potato, with a … True yams, which aren’t related to sweet potatoes, are very … And … Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Speck and Chimichurri. Sweet Potato Hash with Bacon! Still, there are a few varieties you're most likely to come across at the grocery store. Yams and sweet potatoes are two different plants. Where would you find it? Pierce sweet potato with a fork about 6-8 times and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. You can distinguish a yam from a sweet potato before you even bite in. The yam can have brown or black skin colour with purple or red flesh depending on the type. Correctly stored, a sweet potato ought to last one or two weeks. Sweet Potatoes, often called ‘yams’, are a dicot (a plant having two embryonic seed leaves) and are from the Convolvulacea or morning glory family. The sweet potato is in the morning glory family, while yams are related to palms and grasses. Though many grocers use the terms "yam" and "sweet potato" interchangeably, the two are far from the same. Yams are monocots (a plant having one embryonic seed leaf) and are known as monocot plants and belong to the Dioscoreaceae family. And don't automatically buy the biggest sweet potato in the basket, since very big sweet potatoes are often stringy. And they grow in different parts of the world: yams in Africa, where they originated, and also Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and Central America. Yam. The sweet potato is in the morning glory family, while yams are related to palms and grasses. Sweet Potato vs. Yam: What's the Difference? There is no mistaking the sweet potato casserole, no matter what sort of magic (marshmallows, candied pecans, streusel, etc.) Bake until tender, about 45-60 minutes. There are a few key differences between sweet potatoes and yams: Texture. And just like white potatoes, sweet potatoes are edible inside and out; it's fine to eat the skin. If there is one question that everyone I meet seems to have, it is the difference between yams and sweet potatoes. In the United States, the terms “yam” and “sweet potato” are used interchangeably, but they are completely different vegetables. The Difference Between A Sweet Potato And A Yam. In parts of Africa, yams are known as "nyami." Roast beef is a classic main dish for holidays, family get-togethers, and elegant dinners alike. Anything you do with regular potatoes, you can do with sweet potatoes. They are sweeter than … Melanie Fincher and Allrecipes Editors. Add peeled, cubed potatoes and cook until tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Sweet potatoes and yams are both tuber vegetables, meaning they grow underground as a modification of a plant’s root or stem. sweet potato, a yam is also considered a tuber vegetable, but there’s a stark difference Yams are monocots and belong to a Yam family or the Dioscoreaceae and they are not related to the sweet potato family at all. With hundreds of sweet potatoes to explore, finding the variety you like best is part of the fun. Yams have a unique taste, too. They cook very differently. What is a yam? There are a few key differences between sweet potatoes and yams: Texture. When you see sweet potato on a menu in the U.S., what likely comes to mind is orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, which are starchy and have a thin outer skin just like red potatoes and russets but taste sweeter. Related: 7 Reasons to Eat More Sweet Potatoes. Sweet potatoes are a rich source of fiber and a multitude of vitamins and minerals, including iron and vitamin C. Sweet potatoes have thin, smooth skin and orange or white flesh. Jewel potatoes are one of the most popular orange varieties of sweet potato used for baking and making casseroles. There is tremendous diversity in the sweet potato sector, and growers are constantly adding more heirloom varieties to the mix. To bake in the oven, Preheat oven to 400°F. Sweet Potatoes, often called ‘yams’, are a dicot (a plant having two embryonic seed leaves) and are from the Convolvulacea or morning glory family. However, with a wide variety of both yams and sweet potatoes in existence, there is considerable overlap when it comes to flavor and texture.Sweet potatoes, especially orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, are almost always sweeter than yams, but both vegetables are versatile and can have their f… You should probably be eating a sweet potato right now. They'll keep for up to a month under ideal conditions, she said. In reality, the real yam and sweet potato difference works in the opposite direction: African yams are less sweet, larger, and starchier. To revisit this article, select My⁠ ⁠Account, then View saved stories. INGREDIENTS: * 8 ounces bacon * 1 onion, diced * 1 red bell pepper, diced * Salt and freshly ground black pepper * 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch cubes * 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme * 1 loaf crusty bread, sliced * 3 tablespoons butter, softened * 8 eggs DIRECTIONS: 1. Is There a Better Way to Make Sweet Potatoes. In North Carolina, home to more than half of the U.S. crop, the sweet potato harvest starts in mid- to late-August, said third-generation organic farmer Stanley Hughes of Pine Knot Farms in Hurdle Mills, N.C. According to the Louisiana State University AgCenter, "yam" as a marketing term for sweet potatoes really took hold in the 1930s after Louisiana scientists developed a particularly sweet orange-fleshed variety, the one we're accustomed to these days. Try this recipe: Oven-Roasted Sweet Potatoes. Yams and sweet potatoes are delicious mashed, baked, or boiled and make iconic and rich potato salad, fries, and fillings for pies and other baked goods. In the 1900s sweet potato sellers started promoting red-skinned sweet potatoes as yams. Yams tend to be starchy and dry, with more of a mild taste compared to the sweeter, creamier flesh of a sweet potato. Sweet potatoes or yams can be used depending on your preference. Mostly, I’m writing this post about the differences between sweet potatoes and yams and taro and yuca because I need to get it straight myself! They have more natural sugar than sweet potatoes and also have higher moisture content. Incidentally, yams and sweet potatoes are different. Unlike the sweetpotato, yams must be cooked to be safely eaten. Add comma separated list of ingredients to exclude from recipe. A true yam, not a "yam," has a rough (typically darker) bark-like skin, is starchier and drier compared to sweet potatoes, and is native to Africa or Asia. There are distinct differences between a yam vs. a sweet potato. Peak season runs until December. Often, the copper skinned sweet potato is referred to as yam, or sweet potato yam, and these are a firmer version of sweet potatoes. The characteristics of sweet potatoes and yams are also different. Apr 4, 2014 - Explore James Callahan's board "Yams VS Sweet Potatoes" on Pinterest. At home, take them out of the plastic bag and keep them in a well-ventilated container in a cool, dry spot. Yam — Soft sweet potato with a copper skin and deep orange flesh. turns out sweet potatoes are not merely potatoes that happen to be sweet | They are popular in US, Latin America and Caribbean and there are more than 150 types available. Sweet potato — Firm sweet potato with golden skin and lighter flesh. White sweet potatoes may look like russets, but they're loaded with some of … "That's when they're at the best, when all the flavors are saturated throughout," he said. Roast, turning frequently, until soft and golden brown, 30-35 minutes. White Sweet Potatoes. McIver stores hers in the garage. Most of the anti-nutrients in potatoes can be found in the skin, and it seems logical to assume the same is true for yams and sweet potatoes. Where would you find it? To know what you want to buy when faced with a sweet potato and … Left: In the U.S., a large amount of sweet potatoes are grown, but there are two kinds that are the most popular: firm sweet potatoes and soft sweet potatoes. Depending on the variety, sweetpotato flesh can vary from white to orange and even purple. Actually, you're unlikely to find a true yam at a grocery store, farmers' market, or restaurant in this country. Yams tend to be starchy and dry, with more of a mild taste compared to the sweeter, creamier flesh of a sweet potato. Credit: Yams have rough, dark skin with an almost hairy texture, and the flesh inside is often white or purple. White sweet potatoes arrived to the States before the common orange-fleshed variety we're familiar with today, so in order to provide a distinction between the two, a nickname was created. Yams are a monocot (a plant having one embryonic seed leaf) and from the Dioscoreaceae or Yam family. A yam is cylindrical, typically white-fleshed—there is a purple variety, too—and has rough, dark, almost hairy skin. A true yam is a starchy edible root of the Dioscorea genus, and is generally imported to America from the Caribbean. Sweet potatoes are moist and sweet while yams are dry and starchy. First introduced to the U.S. many decades ago, sweet potatoes have a naturally sweet taste (hence the name). I Hate Marshmallows. Regular potatoes like russets, meanwhile, are considered part of the nightshade family, which means that … The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. That confusion is two-fold and centuries old, beginning with the slave trade. Yams, however, are a totally different vegetable that either type of sweet potato, with a … Most yams have a drier, potato-like starchiness than most sweet potatoes, which tend to have a rich flavor and, in some cases, creamy texture. [Photograph: Shutterstock] True yams have little in common with sweet potatoes. "Fresh" is typically a selling point when it comes to produce, but that's not the case with "freshly dug" sweet potatoes: You want potatoes that have been cured in a warm, humid place for a few weeks — they taste better, because starches convert to sugars during that time. First introduced to the U.S. many decades ago, sweet potatoes have a naturally sweet taste (hence the name). Jewel potatoes are one of the most popular orange varieties of sweet potato used for baking and making casseroles. Drizzle olive oil over chopped, peeled sweet potatoes; pour into a shallow roasting pan. Once the potato is in your own possession, store it in a dry, cool environment (such as your basement or garage). Although they are both root vegetables, they belong to two different plant families--the sweet potato is from the morning glory family while the yam is related to the lily. They are seldom seen in mainstream American markets, where “yam” means a sugary orange sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are grown in the United States, with North Carolina leading the way in production. Add comma separated list of ingredients to include in recipe. Yams are dry, starchy root vegetables, closer in flavor to yucca than the sweet potatoes you bake with marshmallows or roast for a kale salad. Although it only contains 100 calories when baked, a sweet potato is rich in fiber, manganese, and antioxidants. Unless you live in a tropical climate, or are cooking dishes that specifically call for them, you probably aren't encountering yams at all. This guide to cooking roast beef will help you create a flavorful, moist, and tender roast. Most likely, all yams and sweet potatoes that you use from the grocery store are sweet potatoes. Yams are starchy and have a rough, brown exterior. Try baking up some sweet potato fries. I doubt a bit of skin is going to hurt you, though, if you decide to eat it. Paler skinned sweetpotatoes have white flesh which is not as sweet and moist as the darker-skinned, orange-fleshed sweetpotatoes. Yams are sweeter than the sweet potato, grow much larger and are also nutr… The sweet potatoes with the lighter skin and yellow insides are softer. What exactly is the difference between sweet potatoes and yams? Since 1995, Epicurious has been the ultimate food resource for the home cook, with daily kitchen tips, fun cooking videos, and, oh yeah, over 33,000 recipes. These vegetables both provide key nutrients, but one is a root and the other is a tuber. Sweet Potato vs Yam, Yam vs Sweet Potato, or Sweet Potatoes vs Yams – a very common dilemma no matter how it’s phrased.. It is rough and scaly and very low in beta carotene. Ships transporting enslaved Africans to America were provisioned with true yams (Dioscorea) , a … In the 1900s sweet potato sellers started promoting red-skinned sweet potatoes as yams. There are distinct differences between a yam vs. a sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are actually fairly similar to white potatoes in terms of calories and carbs. Often, the copper skinned sweet potato is referred to as yam, or sweet potato yam, and these are a firmer version of sweet potatoes. Yams are monocots (a plant having one embryonic seed leaf) and are known as monocot plants and belong to the Dioscoreaceae family. You might still find "yam" and "sweet potato" used interchangeably or in tandem. Internally, their flesh is whiter in shade and dry in texture; because of this dryness, yams typically required more oil, cream, or butter when cooked.One of the biggest fallacies in the “potato versus yam” debate is that yams are sold commonly in the U.S. With rare exceptions, every orange-fleshed tuber you see or taste in the U.S. — even those sold as candied yams — is a sweet potato. Do not put a sweet potato in the refrigerator; that can change the way they taste. Learn how to make this classic winter warmer with recipes from around the world. In contrast, sweet potatoes are dicot plants or in other words, a plant having two embryonic seed leaves and belong to the Convolvulaceae family. In the US, the two foods may be distinguished because the sweet potato tends to be less sweet than the yam. True yams can grow to 100 lb/50 kg and more, and in … Yams are dry, starchy root vegetables, closer in flavor to yucca than the sweet potatoes you bake with marshmallows or roast for a kale salad. You can distinguish a yam from a sweet potato before you even bite in. To my mind, nothing says fall or the holidays like a sweet potato or yam pie, and my wife Bette’s recipe is always a big hit at our holiday table every November. While you can find potato-sized varieties of both, yams are typically larger and can be up to five feet long! The basement is good; the refrigerator, never. “‘Yam’ has just kind of stuck,” said McIver. The confusion comes from an unfortunate attempt to distinguish between varieties of these root veggies hundreds of years ago. Although they are both root vegetables, they belong to two different plant families--the sweet potato is from the morning glory family while the yam is related to the lily. Thanks for a great article on the differences between sweet potatoes and yams. They cook very differently. White sweet potatoes arrived to the States before the common orange-fleshed variety we're familiar with today, so in order to provide a distinction between the two, a nickname was created. We’ve made it with both. Sweet potatoes have thin, smooth skin and orange or white flesh. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated 1/1/20) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated 1/1/20) and Your California Privacy Rights. True yams are imported and a rare find outside of specialty grocery stores. The sweet potatoes with the lighter skin and yellow insides are softer. In fact, an African yam may reach as large as 100 pounds (45.35 kilograms). Just look out for any obvious dings or rotting spots when buying them. To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. In the U.S., a large amount of sweet potatoes are grown, but there are two kinds that are the most popular: firm sweet potatoes and soft sweet potatoes. Yams are starchy and have a rough, brown exterior. Yams and sweet potatoes have differences in both appearance, taste and origin. But sweet potatoes have a slight edge on fiber and really shine on vitamins A and C. They also tend to be more expensive than white potatoes.

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