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Dutchess_lll's avatar

What is the difference between a yam and a sweet potato?

Asked by Dutchess_lll (2777points) 2 months ago

Without Googling, tell us what you’ve been raised to think the difference is.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

10 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

Yams have a much more positive self image. After all, I yam what I yam.

I always thought they were the same.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Sweet potatoes come from the Pacific I think and yams come from South America.

Didn’t look.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Same thing. Also I was raised that a turnip is the same as a rutabaga.

kritiper's avatar

I always assumed they were the same but no one ever used both words in the same sentence, like dressing and stuffing.

snowberry's avatar

I asked the same question a while ago. A lot of it depends on which expert you’re listening to. Some people say they are the same and other people say they are different. The ones who say they are different say there is different nutrition in yams versus sweet potatoe.

zenvelo's avatar

Yams are lighter in color and more orange, while sweet potatoes are redder, sweet potatoes do have a sweeter taste.

Demosthenes's avatar

In the United States, “yam” and “sweet potato” are used interchangeably and have more to do with the dish they’re prepared in than anything else. When they’re candied or used for Thanksgiving, they’re called “yams”, when they’re made into fries they’re called “sweet potato”. There is absolutely no difference. It’s all one plant (with different varieties), Ipomoea batatas.

There is an unrelated root vegetable that is called a “yam” in other parts of the world. It is not orange in color, though.

Here’s a site with some good information:

Unofficial_Member's avatar

I have cooked and eaten both of them and I can say that sweet potatoes tend to have mushy-er consistency when you cook (steam/grill/bake. I don’t like boiling this type of food) them, whereas yam tend to have tougher consistency when both of them are cooked with the same heat and time measurement. A lot of sweet potatoes variants have the same skin colors and appearance as yam. I prefer purple yam since it’s mild on the sweet side but giving you a more solid consistency to chew on, on top of the purple color beneficial substance for health. Sweet potatoes, regardless of the variants also tend to be sweeter than yam, yam however, is cheaper than sweet potatoes. The other one worth mentioning is cassava, the sweet-free tuber that is also the cheapest one, fried cassava is very popular where I live.

JLeslie's avatar

I’ve heard people say they are different, but the words in practice are used interchangeably for the most part for those orange-y potatoes.

Recently, I read something arguing that there are many varieties of sweet potatoes, like sweet potato is the overall umbrella, and a yam is a variety of sweet potato. That there are potatoes of other colors that are also sweet. Similar to cantaloupe is a melon, but in English we rarely refer to cantaloupe as melon, we usually say cantaloupe.

I don’t know what explanation is the right one.

ucme's avatar

Ask Popeye

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