Quick Bite: Yams

are not sweet potatoes.

yam and sweet potato

The yam (right) is not a sweet potato (left). Image: Jennifer Baldwin

While both the sweet potato and yam flourish into tropical vines, using these two words interchangeably as many North Americans like to do is, well, wrong.  The yam (hailing from Asia and Africa) and sweet potato (an American descendant) come from entirely different families—dioscoreaceae and convulvaceae, respectively.  And even though it’s common to find orangey “yams” at the supermarket (in North America), they are merely a squishier version of the sweet potatoes sitting beside them.

Happy 2010!



Filed under Quick Bites

2 responses to “Quick Bite: Yams

  1. I love yam AND sweet potatoes, they’re both so versatile. I cooked some yam just the other day!

  2. bee

    sweet potatoes are my favourite veggie of ALL time! 🙂
    the best way, in my opinion, to prepare them is to cut them into disks, then strips (including the skin) and bake them in the oven at about 400 degress celcius for about 30 to 40 minutes, turning the pieces once after 10 to 15 mins. simple, but absolutely fantastic!!!

    thanks for the post, i’ll try not to confuse them so much in the future 🙂

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