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Old 04-25-2011, 12:56 AM   #1
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So confused...what's the difference between a yam & a sweet potato??

Maybe its a stupid question, but...still one that I feel compelled to at at least ask...is there a signifigant difference between the 2? IF SO, then, WHAT??? I have been "stumped" on this one for awhile, but, just too scared to ask for feeling "stupid"...I no longer care, I just REALLY want to know if they are different or not?!?!

If ANYONE has some insight on this, PLEASE, I IMPLORE you to help educate me here...?please?...like, is one better than the other?..is there anything really all that different from the 2 names?....Please help if you have any enlightning info!!!

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Old 04-25-2011, 01:12 AM   #2
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Anyone?...I bought 5 sweet potatoes from the Farmers Martet on Friday, but....am "stumped" as to prepare them if they are actually just yams or not? I think it would help me gobs in figuring out how to prepare them...just a bit "thrown off" at this point...any helpful advice?
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:18 AM   #3
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So, specifically speaking - what really makes a "yam" a yam, &, what makes a "sweet potato" a sweet potato???
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:42 AM   #4
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Without doing a search (I just don't have time at the moment) I can't tell you the exact difference, but I do know that most of what we call yams in America are really sweet potatoes. You will find yams in some ethnic stores, and you will find them in countries like Africa. That is all I really remember about the subject, but a Google search should find you what you want to know.
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:20 AM   #5
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all i know is i yam what i yam.

a sweet potato is something else...
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:51 AM   #6
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all i know is i yam what i yam.
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Old 04-25-2011, 04:41 AM   #7
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This explains the difference and the confusion:

What is the difference between sweet potatoes and yams? Everyday Mysteries:Fun Science Facts from the Library of Congress)
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Old 04-25-2011, 08:37 AM   #8
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Yams and sweet potatoes are completely different things, but in the US, and I suspect other places what you see labeled as yams are actually sweet potatoes. Yams grow very large. They can be over three feet long. They are very starchy and not sweet at all.
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Old 04-25-2011, 09:07 AM   #9
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GB is right. In the USA, there are white fleshed sweet potatoes and orange fleshed sweet potatoes. It's common for the orange fleshed potatoes to be sold as yams. They are not.

Back in the day, a clever botanist developed an orange SP and came up with the idea of marketing it as a yam to differentiate it from the competing white SP. The name stuck.

This is a real yam.
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Old 04-25-2011, 09:25 AM   #10
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This is a real yam.
That's a corker, I do like yellow Ghana Yam
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Old 04-25-2011, 09:55 AM   #11
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Bake them ! I just wash them, pierce them and bake them like a baked potato. They take a little longer than a baked potato because they are much harder inside. Serve in the skin or remove the skin. A little butter, salt and pepper and they are delicious.
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:09 AM   #12
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Bake them ! I just wash them, pierce them and bake them like a baked potato. They take a little longer than a baked potato because they are much harder inside. Serve in the skin or remove the skin. A little butter, salt and pepper and they are delicious.

Are you talking about the white or orange ones? I ask because I cook the orange ones and they seem to cook faster than a regular potato.
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:56 AM   #13
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Are you talking about the white or orange ones? I ask because I cook the orange ones and they seem to cook faster than a regular potato.

I guess I should have qualified that statement. Cooking time depends on how large it is. I usually buy the larger ones as each one will easily serve 2 or 3 people.

I use the yellow ones and I use the garnet. They are both kind of sweet naturally and both bake up nicely.

A small yam will bake as fast, if not faster than a regular potato.
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:24 PM   #14
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The true yam is the tuber of a tropical vine (Dioscorea batatas) and is not even distantly related to the sweet potato.

The Difference
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Old 04-29-2011, 11:17 PM   #15
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A few restaurants here offer sweet potatoes as a potatoe choice & offer to top them with brown sugar, butter & cinnamon & sugar. The long skinny ones are the best.
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Old 05-02-2011, 05:14 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Andy M.

Are you talking about the white or orange ones? I ask because I cook the orange ones and they seem to cook faster than a regular potato.
If you boil sweet pots with regular pots your right sweet pots don't need as long, I found this out the hard way when I fancied a mixed potato mash!
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