Yams vs. Sweet Potatoes
What’s the difference between a sweet potato and a yam? True yams, native to Asia and Africa, are rare in the United States; they are scaly, with a dry, starchy taste. What is marketed in the U.S. as a yam is really a sweet potato, a tuber native to the Americas, with a moist orange or pale yellow flesh. The mix-up may have started when American slaves began calling sweet potatoes nyami, from a West African word meaning to eat. A few letters were lost and nyami became yam. —Jen Murphy
Related: Sweet Potato Casserole
- Best Sweet Potato Pie Recipes
- Sweet Potatoes
- Fresh Fall Produce
- Perfecting Thanksgiving Dinner: Vegetables
- Perfecting Thanksgiving Dinner: Mashed Potatoes
- Perfecting Thanksgiving Dinner: Greens
- Perfecting Thanksgiving Dinner: How to Cook Turkey
- Perfecting Thanksgiving Dinner: Stuffing
Sweet Potato Recipes
Parboiling sweet potatoes shortens their cooking time and keeps them moist.
In this clever version of candied sweet potatoes with marshmallows, Grace Parisi mashes sweet potatoes with deeply flavorful grade B maple syrup and butter before stuffing them back into their skins and baking them a second time.
This superb roasted sweet potato recipe couldn’t be simpler: Just slice, toss with melted butter and roast.
This supersimple side dish gets extra flavor from ground mace and nutty caramelized fennel bulbs.
To add extra sweetness, Grace Parisi simmers the sweet potatoes in apple cider before pureeing them with butter and maple syrup.
When making this recipe ahead of time, be sure to keep the shallots in a container separate from the whipped sweet potatoes to help retain their crispiness.