Mommy Made From Scratch

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sweet Potatoes or Yams?

I'm a little irritated because I had planned on posting a fall-themed recipe for Thanksgiving breakfast tomorrow but my photo editing software is on the fritz. So instead I thought I'd share with you some things that I have learned about the differences between sweet potatoes and yams.

It seems that whenever I head to the store around this time of year, there are piles and piles of "yams." I say "yams" with the parenthesis because I have since realized that they aren't really yams, they're sweet potatoes. I've been misled most of my life. Despite what the store has told me, my family has always called them sweet potatoes. I'm thankful to have grown up with a teacher for a father and a really smart lady for a mother.

Anywho, I thought I'd share with you a few of the differences between these commonly mislabeled tubers. Sweet potatoes are long and narrow potatoes with a reddishy-orange, smooth skin. Yams have a dark brown, almost black, rough skin and are not as uniform in their shape.

Photo courtesy Bon App├ętit

There's quite a bit of difference once you see them side by side! I'm pretty sure I've never actually seen a yam in a grocery store in the U.S. 

A few more facts:
~ Sweet potatoes have a sweet, flavorful taste
~ Yams are a bit bland in flavor
~ Sweet potatoes come in dozens of varieties ranging in color from white to red to orange, although the sweet potatoes shown above are the most common in the U.S.
~ Sweet potatoes originated in South America
~ Yams are popular in South and Central America, the West Indies, many Pacific islands, and parts of Asia and Africa
~ Yams are rarely found in United States grocers
~ Sweet potatoes are a good source of Vitamin A, providing 89% of your recommended daily value in one potato
~ Sweet potatoes are also a good source of fiber, providing 3 grams in each potato

Now that we've all been educated about the differences between yams and sweet potatoes, head to your grocery store in confidence and pick the tuber of your choice.

If you're looking for a good recipe for true sweet potatoes, check out this Sweet Potato and Apple Casserole recipe for tomorrow's Thanksgiving dinner.

I am more than grateful for each and every one of my readers! I'm thankful to have a such a great and supportive family as I have begun this new journey this year into food blogging. It's been much more involved and time-consuming than I had originally thought it would be. I'm thankful to have such a loving, caring and supportive husband to walk along side of me throughout this journey.

May you all see things in your life to be thankful for! Happy Thanksgiving!

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