Yams and Sweet Potatoes

The students in my senior class design their own food product and one product this semester is going to use sweet potatoes. When I went shopping for them today, the local grocery store only had, what they called, yams. As they looked like sweet potatoes to me, I bought them!

Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) and yams (genus: Dioscorea) are often confused, partly because Americans call sweet potatoes – yams. On the basis that as I wouldn’t know a yam if it leapt up and bit me*, I presume that I bought the right vegetable:

Sweet potatoes

What do you think?


*Neither sweet potatoes or yams are part of the British diet. Probably because both need a warm climate to grow. So I first saw raw sweet potatoes when I moved to the US. As far as I know I have never seen a yam.

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2 thoughts on “Yams and Sweet Potatoes

  1. As far as I am concerned, yams are those preformed looking patties that you buy at Thanksgiving. What you have pictured are what I would call sweet potatoes.

  2. I’m pretty sure I bought several different varieties of sweet potato despite the supermarket telling me otherwise.

    Those preformed patties eaten at Thanksgiving are probably also made from sweet potato.

    It is all so confusing.

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