The true yam is the tuber of a tropical vine (Dioscorea batatas) and is not even distantly related to the sweet potato. Potato vs Yam . Get the latest on your favourite healthy living topics sent directly to your inbox. They have a pretty, thin orange skin, and bright orange flesh that screams "sweet potato." they’re all sweet potato, its a USA thing to call it a yam.trust me, after 17years of being a chef I’ve seen, and eaten a yam twice, its not a sweet potato! Compare Taro to Sweet potato by vitamins and minerals using the only readable nutrition comparison tool. Although yams and sweet potatoes are both angiosperms (flowering plants), they are not related botanically. Differences between sweet potato and yam. Yes, you have been eating potatoes all your life and know how versatile this tuber can be in making various recipes. Enslaved Africans in the Americas began calling the indigenous sweet potato "yam" because it reminded them of the food staple they knew in Africa. Receive information you can trust from pregnancy and the early years. I had requested sweet potatoes for a recipe, thinking that the only ones available at the small local grocery would be orange. 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… Receive information about lifestyle supports including those around alcohol and tobacco. In this video, I will show the difference between a yam and a sweet potato. 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. Click on the topic(s) in the list below that interest you. The fact that yams and sweet potatoes are mislabeled on cans and in recipes can cause a lot of confusion. They are very sweet and taste like deeply-flavored carrots. Getting Older and Staying Physically Active, Staying Connected to Community as You Age, Normand Richard, Certified Exercise Physiologist. You will find sweet potatoes pre-peeled and cooked and sold in cans or frozen. In parts of the United States where yams are not popular, most major supermarkets don't carry them—to find yams you'd have to go to specialty markets selling Caribbean, Asian or African foods. So in conclusion, all those sweet potato-y type root veggies that you once thought were yams… are not. Here's how to tell them apart and cook them properly. Firm sweet potatoes have golden skin and pale flesh and are most commonly labeled as sweet potatoes. Receive information, tips and tools to learn how to choose and enjoy nutritious foods. The sweet potato is used in both savory and sweet dishes, most often baked, mashed or fried. Subscribe to our HealthyFamilies BC newsletter where you will receive up-to-date information on healthy living. Sweet potatoes originated in North America, first joining market shelves alongside the white potato as far back as the late 1600s. They are at home growing in tropical climates, primarily in South America and the Caribbean, as well as Africa, where they originated. Although not grown in the same quantities as the African yams, it has the largest distribution worldwide of any cultivated yam, being grown in Asia, the Pacific islands, Africa, and the West Indies. In fact, potatoes are so commonly consumed in average households in all parts of the world that it has become the 4th … Yams and sweet potatoes have differences in both appearance, taste and origin. Actual sweet potatoes have short, smooth skinned roots with tapered ends whereas actual yams are long and cylindrical with rough, scaly skins. Read our privacy policy to learn more. Technically, both sweet potatoes and yams come from flowering plants… but they are actually not botanically related! Current popular sweet potato varieties include Goldrush, Georgia Red, Centennial, Puerto Rico, New Jersey, and Velvet. The Best Yams Sweet Potatoes Recipes on Yummly | Baked Yams & Sweet Potatoes, Thai Style!. It has also become a staple on the Thanksgiving table, most often as sweet potato casserole with marshmallows. These are simply plants that have edible portions underground. The virus-resistant sweet potato has been the ultimate GM showcase project for Africa, generating a vast amount of global media coverage. Generally sweeter than the sweet potato, this tuber can grow over seven feet in length and top 150 pounds. Phillip Crawley, Publisher. It is rough and scaly and very low in beta carotene. This article explains the key differences between sweet potatoes and yams. Sweet Potatoes and Yams: What's the Difference? Something to note about yams is their ability to grow to massive proportions; we're talking over 100 pounds, and that could be just one yam! 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. These vegetables both provide key nutrients, but one is a root and the other is a tuber. Yam vs. Sweetpotato: A true yam is a starchy edible root of the Dioscorea genus, and is generally imported to America from the Caribbean. 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. COPYRIGHT 2012, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED healthyfamiliesbc@gov.bc.ca. Interested in receiving information on a specific topic? Their long shelf life of 6 months allows them to be a dependable food source during times of poor farming—the yam is a much more difficult crop to harvest than the sweet potato. Getting started or staying active? When the organizer presented me with the light yellow flesh variety, I realized that I should have been more specific about the colour. Want to increase your food skills? Unlike that of the sweet potato, the skin of the yam is rough, hiding a white, starchy interior. Yams are common in tropical regions. I learned a lesson about sweet potatoes once while teaching a cooking class in Northern BC. Sold year-round, sweet potatoes have an extended shelf life due to a curing process after harvest which increases their storage capabilities over a year. Sweet potatoes are tapered and prolonged vegetables, covered with smooth skin, which color varies from beige, yellow, orange to red, purple or brown. Differences Between Yam and Sweet Potato Taste. Often North Americans use the words “yam” & “sweet potato” interchangeably. Her recipes range from Grandma’s favorites to the latest food trends. Unlike the sweetpotato, yams must be cooked to be safely eaten. When the orange fleshed sweet potatoes first came to market they were referred to as “yams” to distinguish them from the light yellow flesh sweet potatoes that were already available. Sweet potatoes labeled as yams are usually very moist and soft after cooking. The paler-skinned sweet potato has a thin, light yellow skin and pale yellow flesh. Maybe I should have asked for “yams.”. Unless you’ve eaten yams in African or Asian countries, there’s a very good chance you’ve actually never tried a true yam – at least not in Canada or the US. Sweet potatoes typically taste sweeter and moister, while yams taste starchier and are drier. It's a staple of the Thanksgiving meal, but what's the difference between a sweet potato and a yam? Yams are a monocot (a plant having one embryonic seed leaf) and from the Dioscoreaceae or Yam family. You will 99% of the time, unless in large city produce buying, NEVER SEE A TRUE YAM! There are distinct differences between a yam vs. a sweet potato. You may change your subscription preferences at any time. To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Both sweet potato and yam are tuber vegetables. They’re both nutritious, giving us energy and fibre. Sweetpotato. Unless you’ve eaten yams in African or Asian countries, there’s a very good chance you’ve actually never tried a true yam – at least not in Canada or the US. From the African words njam, nyami or djambi, meaning "to eat," comes the English word "yam." Shrug.) 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. When using the term “yam” on labels for what are actually sweet potatoes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture also requires the label to include the phrase “sweet potato,” she said. Taro vs Sweet potato - In-Depth Nutrition Comparison. At any rate, the mix up continues to cause confusions - even recipes in reputable cookbooks will call for yams when what they really mean are sweet potatoes. Sweet Potato vs Yam. And in New Zealand, the oca is called a yam. Sorry for asking such a lame question, but I've never cooked fresh yams/sweet potatos. Because they belong to the same family of vegetables, they have similarities in nutrient content, but they also have their share of differences. When it is pureed it can be used in soups as well as baked goods and desserts, including, of course, sweet potato pie. Its only a sweet potato, a member if the morning glory family.there ARE YELLOW sweet potato s, but theyre still sweet potato! But back then, the sweet potato was also white or yellow in color. It's a popular vegetable in Latin American and Caribbean markets, with over 150 varieties available worldwide, and slowly becoming more common in the United States. Nutrients of White Potatoes Vs. Yams. White potatoes and yams fall into the category of root vegetables. When you see sweet potato on a menu in the U.S., what likely comes to mind is orange-fleshed sweet potatoes… Yams are sweeter than the sweet potato, grow much larger and are also nutritionally inferior. !!!! Let's make sense of it with science. Alton Brown discusses the difference between sweet potatoes and yams with a nutritional anthropologist, covering their history and varietal differences and even storage methods. Yams are imported into the USA and Canada … Sweet potatoes have smooth, thin skin that is easy to peel while yams have rougher, scalier skin (like tree bark) that’s difficult to peel. October 25, 2012 by Andrea Godfreyson, Registered Dietitian. Paler skinned sweetpotatoes have white flesh which is not as sweet and moist as the darker-skinned, orange-fleshed sweetpotatoes. They’re mostly sweet potatoes over here. Sweet potato fries are a favourite, ... ON Canada, M5A 0N1. Depending on the variety, sweetpotato flesh can vary from white to orange and even purple. A staple in African cuisine, yams are most often boiled, roasted or fried. As your child grows you will have questions along the way. Yam. Sweet potatoes come in several different colours, but the most common ones in our grocery stores have yellowish skin and light yellow flesh, or a darker orangey brown skin and bright orange flesh. The flesh also varies depending on … However, a true yam is a starchy, edible tuber, generally with a drier taste than a sweet potato. They have a higher sugar content than sweetpotatoes and can grow to be enormous! Apr 4, 2014 - Explore James Callahan's board "Yams VS Sweet Potatoes" on Pinterest. Get daily tips and expert advice to help you take your cooking skills to the next level. Yams are rough, scaly, difficult to peel and very low in beta-carotene. “Yam” fries listed on restaurant menus aren’t yams at all, they’re orange fleshed sweet potatoes. Just like their name, sweet potatoes are sweet and sweeter than yams. Yams are sweeter than the sweet potato, grow much larger and are also nutritionally inferior. Yams have a slightly bitter taste as compared to sweet potatoes. You might still find "yam" and "sweet potato" used interchangeably or in tandem. Tips for Buying, Storing and Cooking With Sweet Potatoes, How to Cook With Caribbean Ground Provisions. So in conclusion, all those sweet potato-y type root veggies that you once thought were yams… are not. Tom Grill / The Image Bank / Getty Images. These are the ones that we often refer to as “yams”. Peggy Trowbridge Filippone is a writer who develops approachable recipes for home cooks. They’re alllll sweet potatoes over here. Sweet potatoes belong to the genus Ipomoea. There are two main types of sweet potatoes, both of which are elongated yellow or orange tubers that taper to a point at each end. For this reason, throughout the American South, the term is commonly applied to sweet potatoes. View this post on Instagram. See more ideas about yams vs sweet potatoes, yams, potatoes. The darker-skinned variety (which is most often and incorrectly called a yam) has a thicker, dark orange to reddish skin with a sweet, vivid orange flesh and a moist texture. Check out our Facebook page and tell us your favourite way to eat them. Yam. Sweet potatoes are high in beta carotene while yams have more potassium. Interestingly, the confusion is not limited to the Americas. True yams and sweet potatoes come from completely different plant families and are quite distinct from each other. The famed "purple yam" of Okinawa is also a sweet potato and not a true yam. Positive changes can be made at any age. D. alata, called "white yam", winged yam, water yam, and purple yam (not to be confused with the Okinawan purple "yam", which is a sweet potato), was first cultivated in Southeast Asia. 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 and yams are both tuber vegetables, but they're actually quite different. Sweet potatoes have smooth, thin skin that is easy to peel while yams have rougher, scalier skin (like tree bark) that’s difficult to peel. Purple yams are found in Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines and are often used in desserts. True yams often have dark brown skin and white, purple or red flesh. The yam tuber has brown or black scaly skin which resembles the bark of a tree and off-white, purple or red flesh, depending on the variety. The Monsanto-trained scientist fronting the project has been proclaimed an African heroine and the saviour of millions, based on her claims about the GM sweet potato doubling output in Kenya. (Or "yam," wrong as that may be. It's not sweet and has a dry, crumbly texture similar to a white baking potato. Sweet potatoes come in several different colours, but the most common ones in our grocery stores have yellowish skin and light yellow flesh, or a darker orangey brown skin and bright orange flesh. In actuality, a sweet potato and a yam are both eaten as a vegetable but are completely different plants. Yams, … The confusion about yams and sweet potatoes is ongoing. Taken By D.schmidt (copyright), Simple & Amazing Potatoes Au Gratin Recipe With Yams & Sweet Potatoes, Yams ( Sweet Potatoes ) Cointreau Planned on making an America's Test Kitchen candied sweet potato casserole, but being so cheap, bought fresh yams instead since they were on sale (hey, 6 bucks is 6 bucks). Whatever you call them, sweet potatoes are delicious. Yams and sweet potatoes have differences in both appearance, taste and origin. Ever wonder what's the difference between yams and sweet potatoes? In Spanish, they are referred to as batata, boniato, and ñame. In Malaysia and Singapore, "yam" refers to taro. They’re available here, but more so in large grocery stores that carry a good selection of international foods. The characteristics of sweet potatoes and yams are also different. Regular sweet potatoes are creamy, like a Yukon Gold potato. There also is the Purple Sweet Potato. Here’s the deal: if you’re shopping at general grocers in B.C., you’re probably buying sweet potatoes, not yams. Receive tips, tools and guidelines so you can learn how to fit physical activity into your daily life. They are thought to have originated in Central or South America and are popular in the American South and available across the globe. 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.