Candy Potatoes vs Yams

What’s the distinction between candy potatoes and yams? Although in America the 2 phrases are sometimes used interchangeably, yams and candy potatoes usually are not the identical factor. They aren’t even from the identical household. Candy potatoes are sometimes referred to as yams, however the two greens are very completely different. It’s potential that you simply’ve by no means seen or tasted an actual yam!

As a self-proclaimed candy potato connoisseur I’ll assist clear the confusion you might have about candy potatoes vs. yams. Preserve studying!

Are Yams and Candy Potatoes The Similar?

No, they’re two very completely different greens.


True yams are edible tubers present in Africa and Asia from the dioscorea genus of flowering crops. They’re generally utilized in African, Latin American and Caribbean dishes. In West Africa they’re a meals staple like cassava/yuca and plantain. You may even see them on the market labeled the African phrase Nyami or Namé.

Yams have thick tough bark-like brown pores and skin and white or yellow-ish flesh. They’re starchy when cooked, and have a gentle taste. Yams develop a lot bigger than candy potatoes. In African and Caribbean cooking yams are utilized in savory dishes like yam pepper soup and pounded yam.

Candy potatoes

Candy potatoes are root greens, not tubers. A tuber is a thick stem of a plant, not the basis. Candy potatoes are the precise root of the plant, thick and scrumptious as they might be. Candy potatoes are native to central or South America, and belong to the morning glory household.

Not like yams, candy potatoes have easy pores and skin, which relying on the range could be orange, gray, and even purple. Candy potatoes have flesh that tastes sweeter than yams. Relying on the range candy potato flesh could be white, orange, and even shiny purple. There are such a lot of completely different sorts of candy potatoes: some are starchier and sweeter than others. Extra on the completely different varieties beneath. Candy potatoes are utilized in each savory dishes and desserts.

Which is extra nutritious?

Candy potatoes and yams are each nice sources of fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and complicated carbohydrates. Candy potatoes have extra vitamin C, and extra beta-carotene than true yams. Yams boast greater ranges of copper.

Each are nutritious starchy greens, and ought to be loved as a part of a balanced plant-based weight-reduction plan.

Why are Candy Potatoes referred to as Yams?

In U.S. grocery shops you’ll generally discover orange candy potatoes referred to as yams. It’s possible you’ll even consult with them as yams your self. Candied yams, anybody? I’ve heard two tales as to why candy potatoes are referred to as “yams”.

Throughout slavery, enslaved Africans referred to the brand new candy potatoes as “yams” as a result of it reminded them of the African yams they used to eat. The identify caught, and People continued to name candy potatoes yams.

I’ve additionally learn that when the orange fleshed candy potato was launched, candy potato growers referred to as them “yams” to tell apart from the extra generally used (at the moment) white fleshed candy potatoes. I’ve even learn that it was merely a method for one state’s candy potato growers to distinguish their similar crop from the others.

Key Variations Between Candy Potatoes & Yams

Candy Potatoes

Clean pores and skin

White, orange, or purple flesh

Generally present in American grocery shops

Candy flesh

Utilized in southern American cooking

Grown within the southern United States


Tough bark-like pores and skin

White or yellow-ish flesh

Gentle taste, not candy

Develop a lot bigger than candy potatoes

Discovered at African and Caribbean grocery shops

Grown in tropical climates

Utilized in African and Caribbean delicacies

Each are Straightforward to Prepare dinner

Candy Potatoes and true yams are each amazingly simple to prepare dinner, they solely require time. Yams are historically boiled or cooked in stews. Candy potatoes can simply be baked, steamed, boiled, microwaved, air fryer, or steamed in an Immediate Pot. Relying on the recipe and the way you’ll eat it, you’ll be able to prepare dinner it entire or lower it into your required dimension. Reducing it up will lower the cooking time and get you to the dinner desk sooner. At all times examine the tenderness of your candy potato with a fork. The fork will slide all through when totally cooked.

Varieties of Candy Potatoes

You can be laborious pressed to search out yams at your native mainstream grocery retailer when you dwell within the US. Once you do discover them, the shop might solely carry one selection. Nevertheless, you’ll probably come throughout many sorts of candy potatoes, all scrumptious. Listed here are the commonest:

Jewel: lighter orange pores and skin and flesh. Excessive moisture content material.

Garnet: darker orange to reddish pores and skin, and orange flesh. Excessive moisture content material.

Beauregard: Commonest in US shops. Darker orange skins and flesh. Starchier however nonetheless moist.

Asian or Caribbean: Purplish skins and yellowish-white flesh. Very starchy and candy.

Okinawan: Gray darker pores and skin and shiny purple flesh. Starchy and really candy. Additionally referred to as purple yams.

Stokes: Purple pores and skin and purple flesh. A reasonably new selection.

The Greatest Candy Potato Recipes

Candy potatoes usually are not only for Thanksgiving. Candy Potato Casserole topped with marshmallows is good, however there are such a lot of extra methods to take pleasure in this excellent root veggie! I’ve created many candy and savory recipes utilizing candy potatoes. These are some favourite recipes of mine from through the years. Much more in my cookbook, Sweet Potato Soul!

Candy Potato Biscuits

Candy Potato Pie

Loaded Candy Potato Fries

Candy Potato Hummus

Candy Potato Granola

West African Peanut Stew

Crimson Lentil Candy Potato Curry

Maple Mustard Tempeh Bowl with Roasted Candy Potatoes

Candy Potato Bisque

Black Eyed Pea Candy Potato Curry

Yam Recipes

Whereas I don’t have any yam recipes myself, there are many scrumptious vegan yam recipes on the market. I’ve listed a couple of beneath.

Pounded yam with Egusi stew (

African Yam Stew (

Thai Yam Salad (

Jamaican Yam Mash (