Yam Vs Sweet Potatoes

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Yam Vs Sweet Potatoes

What’s the Difference?

Have you ever thought about the benefits of yams over sweet potatoes? When it comes to yams, they frequently appear identical in numerous grocery stores. What you formerly thought was a yam is actually most likely a sweet potato. And you've probably never tried Yam.

Your favorite sweet orange-colored root vegetable is actually a sweet potato. In fact, all the so-called "yams" are actually sweet potatoes. The majority of people mistake tall, red-skinned sweet potatoes for sweet potatoes, although there are many different varieties of sweet potatoes.

Where did all this uncertainty originate, then? Let's compare and contrast the main characteristics of yams and sweet potatoes!

The words "yam" and "sweet potato" are frequently used interchangeably in the United States, and the majority of people mistake tall red-skinned sweet potatoes for yams, but they are two very different plants.

The yam must be peeled with a knife because it is exceedingly difficult to peel with a vegetable peeler. It is starchy and has a rough, brown skin that almost resembles tree bark. They are consumed in regions of Latin America, West Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia, and they can grow to be up to 45 feet long. 

A new type of universal root vegetable, sweet potatoes have softer, redder skin and creamier, frequently darker interiors. Most American supermarkets sell you sweet potatoes, not sweet potatoes. Odawa had to go to an African market where they imported the yams she was familiar with to find them. Where did all the uncertainty originate, then? Let's compare and contrast the key attributes of yam and sweet potatoes!

What Is a Yam?

Yams are edible stem tubers that are indigenous to tropical Africa and Asia. Through a marketing operation, the Louisiana Sweet Potato trade association helped popularize the yam and sweet potato combo in the United States. A new variety of sweet potatoes with smoother skin, a creamier, less stringy texture, and a higher vitamin A content than other sweet potatoes on the market was created by researcher Julian C.

Miller at the Louisiana Experiment Station. Because yams have dry, starchy flesh, they can be stored in humid environments without fear of going bad. As a result, in the tropical climes where they are grown, they make a great main dish.

In terms of texture and flavor, true yams are more related to yuca and belong to a whole different genus than sweet potatoes, which are members of the morning glory family.

The Louisiana sweet potato industry began adopting the moniker "yam" to differentiate these new sweet potatoes from their East Coast equivalents. Most variants lack sweetness. Contrary to sweet potatoes.

The flesh of the yam tuber can be off-white, purple, or red depending on the variety, and it has scaly skin that is either black or brown and looks like tree bark. They are comfortable growing in tropical environments.

What Is a Sweet Potato?

The storage root of Ipomoea batatas is sweet potato. Has a creamy texture and is known to be sweet and slightly starchy, being a member of the morning glory plant family. They may have started out in Central or South America.

They can be found all over the world and can be grown in both tropical and warm-temperate areas. They are particularly well-liked in the American South. Despite being a native of the Americas, they are grown all over the world. 

Sweet potatoes exist in a few types and can have flesh that is orange, purple, or even white. They have an orange-reddish silky skin that is simple to peel.

Sweet potatoes are shorter than yams. They often have tapered ends and a bulbous centre.

Compared to regular potatoes, they often have longer lengths, wider widths, and tapered ends as opposed to circular ones.

Sweet potatoes are widely available in the United States and are used in a variety of savory and sweet dishes, including Ree Drummond's beloved Sweet Soul Taters (a delicious sweet potato casserole topped with heaps of brown sugar and pecans). Other popular sweet potato dishes include beef curry with sweet potato noodles.

Although sweet potatoes are available year-round in both fresh and canned forms, their prime time is from late October to early December.

Firm and soft sweet potatoes are the two main varieties found in the United States. Firm sweet potatoes are typically drier and less sweet, with generally pale skin and meat. Typically, soft sweet potatoes are darker all over, more moist, and sweeter.

The sweet potato with paler skin has pale yellow flesh and a thin, light-colored skin layer. It resembles a white baking potato in texture and lacks sweetness.

The darker variant, which is wrongly and frequently referred to as a yam, has a thicker, dark orange to reddish skin and tasty, vibrant orange flesh. The current most well-liked sweet potato cultivars are Velvet, Puerto Rico, New Jersey, Georgia Red, Gold Rush, and Georgia Red. The Purple Sweet Potato is another option.

What's the distinction between yams and sweet potatoes?

The two vegetables, sweet potatoes and yams differ greatly from one another. Despite being sometimes confused with sweet potatoes, yams are unique vegetable with a completely different flavor and look.

While sweet potatoes are frequently on the sweeter side, yams have a mild earthy flavor.

Sweet potatoes have orange flesh and rosy brown skin, whereas yams have white meat and a dark brown, bark-like shell. Compared to sweet potatoes, yams also grow much bigger.

Some varieties of sweet potatoes:

tangerine sweet potatoes
This is the variety of sweet potato that is most prevalent in the country. These are the ones you roast for meal preparation, purée for sweet potato pie for Thanksgiving or sweet potato casserole with marshmallows, and (yep) dice into candied yams.

 Additionally, they make fantastic chips and fries and, when steamed, a fantastic simple lunch or side dish. The varieties of orange-fleshed potatoes are all "pretty much interchangeable," according to Heck, making them flexible, widely available, and easy to grow.

She says there will be "subtle differences in flavor, sweetness, and moisture" between Beauregard, which has brown skin and is more intensely sweet and was grown in Louisiana, Garnet, which has red skin and tastes more like pumpkin, and Jewel, which has coppery-orange skin and is pleasantly sweet and earthy and was grown in California.

Sweet potatoes, white

While white and orange sweet potatoes have some similarities, their flavor and texture can differ dramatically.

While they don't contain as much beta-carotene as orange sweet potatoes, white sweet potatoes, or sweet potatoes with white flesh, are packed with many of the same nutrients and fiber.

On the outside, they can resemble Garnet yams or their skins might be ruby-colored like Japanese sweet potatoes. They may occasionally succeed in making you believe they are a typical old russet. Compared to orange sweet potatoes, white sweet potatoes have a little more crumbly and dry texture and a less sweet flavor.

Heck advises using them for gnocchi because you can regulate the quantity of moisture in the dough because they have a somewhat drier texture than orange-fleshed kinds. Heck, claims they pair nicely with vibrant, acidic sauces like chimichurri for uses other than pasta. When roasted, the texture is more toothsome than mushy, but when braised slowly, they become smooth while maintaining their shape.

Final Verdict

Yams are tubers. Roots include sweet potatoes. Yams typically have skin that resembles bark and are more cylindrical in shape. Sweet potatoes may be firm or mushy with thinner skin and a more tapered form. Sweet potatoes generally taste sweeter than yams. During your typical grocery trip, you will more likely come across sweet potatoes, but if you see a yam that may be branded as a "sweet potato," you will know the difference.

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