Is That a “Yam” or a “Sweet Potato?”
Thanksgiving is about a month away. Many festival meals include some sort of yam or sweet potato.
I don’t like either one, so I don’t pay attention. As a result, I never realized that they are two different foods. I always assumed they were two names for the same food.
In fact, a yam, which is not even closely related to a sweet potato, has a brown or black skin that looks like the bark of a tree; and off-white, purple or red flesh, depending on the variety, says about.com. They grow in tropical climates, primarily in South America, Africa, and the Caribbean. Several online sites say yam comes from an African word meaning “to eat.”
According to livestrong.com, sweet potatoes have five grams of protein per eight ounces; yams have two grams of protein.
What I see more often in my supermarket is the sweet potato. It has tapered ends and is much more pale than a yam, has yellow skin and yellow flesh. There also is a darker version that people often get confuse for a yam. But this sweet potato is dark orange or red.
So, if you see something orange called “candied yams” at your Thanksgiving dinner, realize that it’s not a yam at all.
Popeye might not have been right when he said “I yam what I yam.” But “I sweet potato what I sweet potato” makes no sense.
Until next time! Use the right words!
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