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  #1  
Old 11-21-2007, 08:57 AM
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star Sweet Potatoe vs. Yam..What's the difference?

I really had no clue. Or have really given it much thought until this morning after reviewing my recipes for Yams and Sweet Potatoes. I plan to make one or the other today. So I decided to browse online to see what I could come up with..


Although yams and sweet potatoes are both angiosperms (flowering plants), they are not related botanically. Yams are a monocot (a plant having one embryonic seed leaf) and from the Dioscoreaceae or Yam family. Sweet Potatoes, often called ‘yams’, are a dicot (a plant having two embryonic seed leaves) and are from the Convolvulacea or morning glory family.

Yams
Yams are closely related to lilies and grasses. Native to Africa and Asia, yams vary in size from that of a small potato to a record 130 pounds (as of 1999). There are over 600 varieties of yams and 95% of these crops are grown in Africa. Compared to sweet potatoes, yams are starchier and drier.
Sweet Potatoes
The many varieties of sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are members of the morning glory family, Convolvulacea. The skin color can range from white to yellow, red, purple or brown. The flesh also ranges in color from white to yellow, orange, or orange-red. Sweet potato varieties are classified as either ‘firm’ or ‘soft’. When cooked, those in the ‘firm’ category remain firm, while ‘soft’ varieties become soft and moist. It is the ‘soft’ varieties that are often labeled as yams in the United States.

Why the confusion?
In the United States, firm varieties of sweet potatoes were produced before soft varieties. When soft varieties were first grown commercially, there was a need to differentiate between the two. African slaves had already been calling the ‘soft’ sweet potatoes ‘yams’ because they resembled the yams in Africa. Thus, ‘soft’ sweet potatoes were referred to as ‘yams’ to distinguish them from the ‘firm’ varieties.

There ya have it! Did any of you know the difference? And I have decided to go with sweet potatoes since I have a recipe my mother used in the past.
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Old 11-21-2007, 02:07 PM
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I actually knew this thanks to Alton Brown on Good Eats
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:55 PM
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I'm still confused. But I love sweet potatoes.
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Old 09-11-2008, 02:03 PM
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I´ve never tried any...but since my boyfriend is African and knows it....I´m thinking of preparing it this year....
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Old 09-11-2008, 04:23 PM
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Thanks for the info.

I love them especially baked in the oven wrapped in foil, then I put butter, brown sugar on them, yummy. I never eat white potatoes, yams/sweet potatoes are so much better and very good nutrition. The sweet potato french fries are really good too.
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Old 09-22-2008, 04:04 PM
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i have no clue
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