View Full Version : The Sweet Potato vs. The Yam

Kitchen Witch
November 13th, 2005, 09:31 PM
The Sweet Potato vs. The Yam

It seems that most people get confused as to what is a sweet potato and what is a yam! In fact, in the United States, most people use both terminologies to refer to a sweet potato, when neither of these two vegetables is related!

The sweet potato is found in tropical America and is a part of the Morning Glory family.

The yam is a tuber (a bulb) of a tropical vine found in Central & South America, as well as the West Indies, Africa and Asia. Varieties There are mainly two varieties of sweet potato. The pale sweet potato has a very thin yellow skin with a bright yellow flesh. This variety is neither sweet nor moist, but more the texture of a white baking potato. The darker skinned sweet potato has a thicker orange skin with a sweet moist flesh.

The true yam is not marketed or grown widely in the United States. Where it is marketed, is usually in Latin American markets. A yam can be as small as a potato and can grow as large as 7 feet and weigh over 120 pounds! The flesh can range in color from off-white to yellow to pink to purple! The skin color can be from off-white to a dark brown.

Season: Both the sweet potato and the yam are available fresh from October through March.

How to Select: When trying to choose a sweet potato, choose a medium sized variety with smooth unbruised skin. You will want to choose an unblemished yam with unwrinkled skin.

Storage: Store your sweet potatoes in a dry, dark 55 degree F (12 - 13 degrees C) area for approximately a month. Otherwise, use your sweet potato within the week. Never place a sweet potato in the refrigerator. Store your yam in a cool, dark, dry place up to 2 weeks. Never place your yam in the refrigerator.

Nutritional Qualities: Sweet potatoes have high Vitamins A and C. Yams have higher sugar content.

Wine Pairings: Depending on what you are serving with your yams or sweet potatoes and as to how you are preparing it, try a Chardonnay, a Fume Blanc, a French Colombard or a Syrah.

Spices: Brown sugar, butter, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, ginger, lemon juice, lemon peel, mace, marjoram, nutmeg, orange juice, orange peel, poppy seed, sage, savory, thyme.

Equivalencies: 1 pound fresh = 3 medium = 3 ½ - 4 cups cooked and chopped

Preparation: A sweet potato can be prepared like a potato: baked, boiled, sautéed, steamed, microwaved, or fried. A yam can be prepared like a sweet potato!

Aussies mum
July 15th, 2007, 01:59 AM
A question? Is the yam, the sweet potato whether it be white, orange or pink be the same as the New Zealand KAMARA?

Kitchen Witch
July 15th, 2007, 07:59 AM
Aussies mum - I have never seen a kumara - but would love to get some! It is a variety of sweet potato with a orange-redish skin and yellow flesh. Although I have never had one - they are supposed to be very delicious!

Apparently the plants are hard to come by - they are a temperate plant - not tropical. Also known as the New Zealand yam.

Kitchen Witch
October 20th, 2009, 12:54 PM
closed due to spammers