News flash: sweet potatoes and yams are not the same thing. They are often referred to and used interchangeably, but there is a difference. They come from two completely different families and what most of us refer to as yams are, in fact, a red-fleshed variety of sweet potato.
Sweet Potatoes vs Yams
True yams are native to Africa and South America and they’re not readily available in the U.S., though you can find them at international stores. Yams are long, narrow with rough skin and flesh that can range in color from white to dark red.
Sweet potatoes are short with tapered ends. They’re available in several varieties, the most common of which has dark red flesh. Many believe the term yam was first used by African slaves who referred to the red-fleshed sweet potato found in the U.S. as yams because they reminded them of the red yams they cooked in Africa.
Try a few of my FAVORITE sweet potato recipes!