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Old 06-24-2008, 03:47 PM   #1
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Potato vs. Sweet Potato vs. Yam

Potato, Sweet Potato, Yam. I used to think that Sweet potatoes and Yams were the same thing, but they apparantly are not the same since my grocer has Sweet Potatoes (White Inside) and Yams (orange inside). Which is healthiest? Is there a big difference? I'm curious.

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Old 06-24-2008, 03:51 PM   #2
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All we have in this country are sweet potatoes - the ones we call yams aren't actually yams. Go figure!
I'll see if I could find the discussion we had a while ago about it....


Here you go:
http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...o_threadrating
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Old 06-24-2008, 04:05 PM   #3
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Sweet potatoes come in two varieties, white and orange. The origin of the "yam" is that growers in Mississippi (I think) developed an orange sweet potato and wanted some way of differentiating it from the popular white sweet potato so they dubbed it a yam. It's a marketing thing.

True yams are uncommon in the USA and are huge, up to three feet long. They are a common starch in the islands of the Caribbean.
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Old 06-24-2008, 04:13 PM   #4
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Wow. That is very interesting.
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Old 06-24-2008, 04:23 PM   #5
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We were always told sweet potatoes were orange and sweet, while yams were yellow and not as sweet.
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Old 06-24-2008, 04:25 PM   #6
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All I know about it is that I prefer the white sweets. Nice nutty flavor.
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Old 06-24-2008, 04:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maverick2272 View Post
We were always told sweet potatoes were orange and sweet, while yams were yellow and not as sweet.
The Great Debate has begun.
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Old 06-24-2008, 04:31 PM   #8
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LOL. I am far from an expert on this let alone an informed source! It is just what I was told growing up.
Heck, I didn't even know there were white ones!
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Old 06-24-2008, 04:51 PM   #9
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Check out this reference link.
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Old 06-24-2008, 04:59 PM   #10
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That aint helpin, LOL!

The first one that looks yellow is what we always called a yam. The second one, the tropical yam never heard of before. The third one that looks orange is what I have always known as a sweet potato. The fourth one the Japanese one I never heard of before either, LOL.
So apparently I have it backwards of what most Americans apparently say!
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Old 06-24-2008, 05:24 PM   #11
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Well, in New Zealand, we have yams and kumara (which come in different varieties - most common are red, gold and white). We don't really have anything which we call a sweet potato, but kumera comes closest, I guess.

(Pics below are of kumara (top) and yams (bottom)).
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Old 06-24-2008, 06:12 PM   #12
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I know this picture is kind of small, but these are actual yams. You can get an idea of the size.
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Old 06-24-2008, 06:22 PM   #13
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I don't like either, except S. P. Fries. Go figure.
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Old 06-24-2008, 06:23 PM   #14
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Yes - apparently what we call 'yams' are actually a member of the oxalis family. Who’da guessed?
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:50 PM   #15
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We always called them sweet potatoes, they are orange and are terrific baked, then put butter and brown sugar on them...
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Old 06-25-2008, 03:55 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ Mikey View Post
The Great Debate has begun.
Wait until you get the Australian and the Kiwi versions mate -- then confusion shall reign
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Old 06-25-2008, 03:58 AM   #17
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Quote:
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I know this picture is kind of small, but these are actual yams. You can get an idea of the size.
Them's what those BIG guys in the Solomon Islands eat
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:06 AM   #18
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True yams are starchy, white inside, and can be quite large (3-6 feet long) and almost never seen in the US except for in some specialty markets ... the things that are called "yams" in the US (up to about 1-foot long) are either mislabeled by ignorant grocers or a variety of orange sweet potatoes from Louisiana. Andy M. was right about it being a marketing ploy for the orange variety of sweet potato - just the wrong side of the Mississippi river.
Sweet potatoes range from pale yellow to bright orange. Probably doesn't help in differentiating them from other potatoes - unless you look at the shape of the tuber, and the skin color.

As for nutrition ... I have never seen a comparison ... but I would assume they would be comperable. Starch is nothing more than just very long chains of sugar .....
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Old 07-03-2008, 11:58 AM   #19
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That's strange. I have never heard of a white sweet potato, and I LOVE sweet potatoes! (Or are they yams? ;) ) I have known that yams are commonly eaten in African countries, and even used as a form of currency. I don't think I've ever tasted one, but I would imagine they are more similar to sweet potatoes than regular potatoes.
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