November 07, 2007

Sweet Potatoes vs. Yams-- It's that time of the season for sweet potato pie, biscuits and I've dug this out from the archives and warm it up a bit to answer the ongoing question. Enjoy! Every Thanksgiving it's guaranteed that someone will ask, 'What's the difference between yams and sweet potatoes?" It seems most don't know and assume 'well, it's two different names so it must be different, right?' This has been my answer for many years. Well, this year I've decided to be the smarty pants. The short answer is, this--yams and sweet potatoes are similar in that they grow underground and have orange flesh however each is botanically different from the other. The longer explanation is that yams are tropical vines of the genus Dioscorea and have a more reddish flesh. Large, starchy, and edible the tuberous roots can grow up to two even three feet long and weigh as much as 80 pounds. Sweet potatoes belong to the morning glory family and are native to the tropical areas of the Americas. There are two basic types of sweet potatoes: moist (orange-fleshed) and dry (yellow-fleshed). It's the orange-flesh version that is mistakenly called yams. You see it was really a marketing angle adopted in the 1930s by some Louisiana farmers looking to distinguish their sweet tuber which they called a “yam” from the dry, pale sweet version grown in the North. So today in American supermarkets, “yams” are sweet potatoes with vivid orange color, and, when cooked, are sweet and moist....


what happens to the hole when the donut is gone?

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