Yams vs Sweet Potatoes: The Ultimate Showdown

Yams vs Sweet Potatoes: The Ultimate Showdown

Short answer: Are yams sweet potato?

No, yams and sweet potatoes are not the same thing. Yams are root vegetables native to Africa and Asia, while sweet potatoes originated in South America. They have different colors, textures, tastes and nutritional values. In the US, what is commonly labeled as a ‘yam’ is actually sweet potato.

How to Differentiate Between Yams and Sweet Potatoes

Are you someone who loves to cook and experiment with different ingredients but is often confused about the difference between yams and sweet potatoes? Well, worry no more! In this blog post, I will provide a detailed professional yet witty explanation that will help in clearing all your doubts about these tubers.

First things first, let’s clear up some confusion. Did you know that in many countries sweet potatoes are called yams or by other regional names like camote or kumara? Yes, that’s right! But technically speaking they are two completely different vegetables.


Let’s start with yams. Yams belong to the Dioscoreaceae family and are native to Africa. These starchy tubers have rough skin on their exterior which ranges from light brown to blackish-brown color depending on its variety. The flesh of a yam can be white ivory or yellow-colored when cooked.


Now coming to sweet potatoes, they belong to the Convolvulaceae family and are indigenous to Central America. The skin of a sweet potato can vary from reddish-brown or purple color externally while internally having bright orange-flesh or cream-color compared to texture of regular russet-type baked potato once cookeded These roots come in countless varieties suiting every palate ranging from being mildly sweet tasting; suitable for savory dishes such as roasted casseroles etc.,to candied sweetness by caramelisation according spicy-sweet combinations if Vietnamese food encountered..

One significant thing must note here is nutrition values comparisons: One medium-sized Yam weighing around 300 grams yields approximately ~157KCalories while Sweet Potatoes weighing same gives less amount claiming only~ 100 Calories.


1) Shape & Size- – As mentioned above ,Although size varies both found elongated shape; thickened stem+ root combined appearance having skin differences.

2)Flavors: Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet, while yams have a mildly sweet flavor and more fibrous texture reason being its cultivation process somewhere close to soil cultivation techniques.


Many times at supermarkets or vegetable stalls, it gets challenging for us to decipher the varieties of hairless brown-skinned tubers stacked together in large heaps. You can now easily identify by sight which category they belong to:

SWEET POTATOES- Look for long and thin tails that taper towards one end compared dome-like barrel shape

YAMS- They will appear completely different from sweet potatoes having thicker wider stems with ends sticking out from both sides contrasting being smoother outer dark-skinned rough-textured exterior.

In conclusion, though many refer them interchangeably as same but there is enough variation between these two distinctive tropical root vegetables. With appropriate information, you won’t be confused anymore about declaring your superfood choice correctly whether next time at dinner parties or convincing someone over kitchen debates!

Are Yams Sweet Potato? A Step-by-Step Guide to Identify Them

When it comes to yams and sweet potatoes, there is often confusion regarding their classification as vegetables. While they may look similar in appearance and taste delicious when cooked up a variety of ways, yams and sweet potatoes are actually quite different.

So, are yams really just another type of sweet potato? The short answer is no! In fact, these two root vegetables have distinct differences that set them apart from one another. By following these steps below you will be able to easily identify whether you’re dealing with a true sweet potato or a yam:

Step 1 – Identify Their Origin

Sweet potatoes originate from South America while Yams come from Africa’s tropics. Even though the names “yam” and “sweet potato” have sometimes been used interchangeably over time because they share certain characteristics— dark brown skin on the outside and vibrant orange hue in their flesh; the truth lies beneath all this resemblance.

Step 2 – Look at Skin Color

Although some varieties of sweet potatoes can have reddish-purple skins (giving them an almost-mauve reminiscent color), most types tend to present copper-tinged colored peels. When it comes down to distinguishing between Sweet Potatoes vs Yams consider if it has light-colored skin with smooth texture then chances are its Sweet Potato whereas darker skinned vegetable with rough scaly texture indicates Yam.

Step 3 – Examine Flesh Coloring

While both root vegetables tend to boast interiors that range anywhere from white to yellow/orange hues once peeled/chopped–yam’s interior coloring tends towards an off-white/yellowing tint rather than vibrant oranges presented by Sweet Potatoes!

To avoid future kitchen mix-ups think about storing each individually labeled container/bag for easy whole-root vegetable identification since yum VS sweet potato distinguishes health benefits including: higher fiber/folate content per serving sizing in ‘Yum’ whilst Vitamin E & C alongside beta-carotene being predominantly higher in sweet potato.

Knowing the difference between yams and Sweet Potatoes can help you to not only properly select ingredients for your recipes but also lead to a greater appreciation and understanding of these unique root vegetables. By following these steps above, you’ll be successfully equipped with avoid misconceptions while enjoying every fresh serving as they must!

FAQs Answered: Are Yams Sweet Potato or Two Different Root Vegetables?

Yams and sweet potatoes may seem similar on the surface, but they are actually two completely different root vegetables.

First of all, yams typically have a rough and scaly exterior that can range in color from brown to black. On the other hand, sweet potatoes usually have a smooth skin with a reddish-brown or orange tint.

But it’s not just about appearance – the two vegetables also contain significantly different nutritional profiles. Yams are primarily made up of starch and tend to be high in calories. Sweet potatoes, however, are rich in vitamins A and C as well as dietary fiber, making them an extremely healthy addition to your diet.

So why do so many people confuse yams for sweet potatoes? It turns out that this is largely due to labeling confusion within grocery stores. In most cases what we call ‘yam’ at the supermarket is likely just another variety of sweet potato (and often labeled incorrectly). This false naming dates back to when African slaves were brought over to America; since they missed their true YAMS which originated where Ghana exists today).

In order to avoid any potential confusion while shopping for produce you should look for products labeled specifically as “sweet potatoes” rather than “yams”. Additionally, keep in mind that some dishes may make use of both yams AND sweet potatoes cooked together– such as popular Nigerian porridge called Pounded Yam Porridge; or West Indian delicacy ‘ground provision’.

Ultimately though – whether they’re served together or apart – these delicious root vegetables will add flavorful complexity along with abundant health benefits!

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