Sweet Potatoes

I always thought that a yam and a sweet potato were the same thing.  Wrong.  Sweet potatoes are often called yams, but they are different vegetables.  Sweet potatoes are short and blunt while yams are long and tuberous.  Sweet potatoes are sweet whereas the yam is dry and starchy.  A sweet potato is full of vitamin A and beta carotenes, but the yam is not nearly as nutritious.  Finally, yams are mostly imported from the Caribbean.  (There are other differences such as the chromosome numbers, but let’s not go there.)

The U.S. Dept of Agriculture requires that all cans labeled as “yams” must also have “sweet potato” written on the label, too.  Check it out when you’re grocery shopping for Thanksgiving


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