Friday, November 19, 2010

Yams Or Sweet Potatoes...?


First of all, I apologize for not posting yesterday! I was getting the pre-op exam done at the VA for my eye surgery next Tuesday and by the time I got home...I could not see well enough to do a post!

Now, about this question regarding the difference between sweet potatoes and yams. It seems they are actually two entirely different things, which I didn't know!

According to this article from the Old Farmer's Almanac, it's a case of "almost nearly, but not quite hardly" if you know what I mean!

The Great Yam Scam: Are sweet potatoes really "yams"?

Yams are big tuberous roots that are a monocot (a plant having one embryonic seed leaf) and belong to the genus Dioscorea. They are related to grasses and lilies, growing in tropical and subtropical countries that provide eight to ten months of warm weather to mature. Yams can grow two to three feet long and some can weigh as much as 80 pounds. According to horticulturist U. P. Hedrick, the word yam means "to eat" in the dialect of Guinea.

Sweet potatoes are a dicot (a plant having two embryonic seed leaves) and are from the Convolvulacea or morning glory family. In the United States today it is possible to find true yams in some urban Hispanic markets. However, most yams in the U.S. are actually sweetpotatoes with relatively moist texture and orange flesh. Compared to sweet potatoes, yams are starchier and drier.

Both the yam and the sweet potato DO grow underground and have yellowish-orange flesh, but there the similarity ends. Yet the two became entwined in this country by household vernacular in part through the work of a publicity campaign. Earlier this century, sweet potato promoters attached the word yam to the deep orange, moist-fleshed varieties of sweet potatoes and left the words sweet potato to the smaller, yellowish, and drier-fleshed varieties.

The two types of sweet potato are interchangeable in cooking, but bring different tastes, textures, and colors to your plate. Centennial and Puerto Rico are two popular moist-fleshed (formerly called yam) varieties; Nemagold, New Jersey Orange, and Nugget have the lighter and drier (sweet potato) flesh.

Today it is common to find either or both words used in supermarkets, although sweet potato promoters wish we would all stop saying yam. The North Carolina SweetPotato Commission currently urges the world to spell "sweetpotato" as one word. But it's an uphill battle. If your Mama called them yams, for certain you will, too

No matter what you call 'em, I can't imagine a Thanksgiving dinner without them! Baked, mashed, or in sweet potato pie...they are good any way you fix 'em, in my opinion!

Now, my friends, let's get some coffee and sit in the kitchen for a bit. Too chilly to sit outside, ya know?

17 comments:

Baby Sis said...

Bubba -

I'm with you, they're all sweet taters to me, and all good! Let me know if you need me next Tuesday, and enjoy your birthday weekend! Happy, Happy, and many bigger hugs!!!

JoJo said...

Good Morning My Special One,
I'm with you I'll eat em anyway they come.
And Happy Birthday!like your sis says all weekend long.

Missed you yesterday but I know about seeing much after and eye appt. had one last week. Had a little thing taken off my lower eye lid plus the exam and couldn't see a thing. Grandson drove. Also have cateract on right eye to be fixed as soon as the wound heals. Baby we gettin old LOL Maybe age wise but not in mind not me anyway

Dizzy-Dick said...

It used to upset me when I saw sweetpotatoes labeled yams. I knew they were different. I didn't know that part about which sweetpotato was called yam and which was not. I always seem to learn something from your blog.

Havng a bithday? Well I hope it is a very happy one for you. Getting imporved eyesight could be one of your birthday gifts.

HermitJim said...

Hey Sis...
Hard to believe I'm already having another birthday! Seems like I just had one last year!

Might have to catch a ride with you to VA...if you are available!

Thanks for the visit this morning!


Hey JoJo...
As long as my mind doesn't catch up to my body in age...I'll be good to go!

Funny, but I really don't feel any older! Maybe I will come Sunday...who knows?

Thanks, sweetie, for coming by today!


Hey Dizzy...
That's what I'm thinking as well! Makes a great birthday present, for sure.

If this next one goes as well as the first, I'll certainly be happy!

No matter what you call 'em, they both eat pretty well, I think!

Thanks, buddy, for coming by today!

Momlady said...

There is no need to apologize for not posting. Those of us who follow you know that there is always a good reason, just hoping that it isn't illness, etc.
So, celebrating your 26th birthday? Hope it's fabulous and that all goes well Tuesday and we will understand if you don't post.

HermitJim said...

Hey Momlady...
26th? Man, I think I have socks that old!

Add 40 years to that and you'll be closer to the right number!

The way I figure it is...any of them I get through is a good one, ya know?

I do appreciate you coming by today!

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday!
I love sweet potatoes.
But my family has to have mashed regular potatoes.
Have a good one Jim!
andy

HermitJim said...

Hey Andy...
Easy way to solve that problem is to have them both! That way you might have enough left over to make some potato pancakes with!

I sure am glad you could come by today!

Stephanie in AR said...

I am just glad your not being here was not something serious. Kind of get used to which internet neighbors are always out on the porch having coffee & worry when they are not there. If you missed two days in a row I think you'd have people knocking on your real life door!

HermitJim said...

Hey Stephanie...
Always nice to know that folks would miss me! You know I'll be here if I can, though!

Are you ready for the holidays? Ready or not, they are almost upon us!

I'm sure glad to see you again and thank you for coming by today, my friend!

thecottagebythecranelakeolof1 said...

I actually knew that they are two different things, but I am a gardener and have had a gardencentre/nursery.

Sweet potatoes can only grow in huge pots on the sunniest and warmest place one can find in the garden here. Normally we don´t get any more sweet potatoes because of our short summers here in the north, but it is always fun to try them :-)

Have a great day now!
Christer.

Marjie said...

I made some just for practice earlier this week. Kept the leftovers for lunch the next day. Heaven in a sweet potato, as it were. I think the little bit left might go toward a loaf of sweet potato bread - sorta like banana bread, just more orange!

HermitJim said...

Hey Christer...
Luckily, we can grow the sweet potato here nearly all year long!
I like 'em and nearly all the recipes they can be used in!

I certainly appreciate you coming by today!


Hey Marjie...
Hard to beat, that's for sure! The bread sounds like a good idea! Don't think I've ever had it!

Thanks for coming by today!

Ashley said...

You know what they say... "I yam what I yam, and that's all what I yam!"

HermitJim said...

Hey Ashley...
Seems like I've heard that somewhere before, just can't remember when!

Thanks for coming over today!

Argentum Vulgaris said...

Oh I love them both, but yams are by far the tastier.

AV

Calandreya said...

I hope your surgery goes well. Thank you for explaining the difference. I've been frustrated a few times when I was seeking one or the other and the store didn't know what they had.