Yam or Sweet Potato - Knowledgebase Question

Marietta, GA
Question by REPLA1
December 21, 1997
Is there any difference between a sweet potato and a yam, if so, what is the difference?


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Answer from NGA
December 21, 1997

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A sweet potato, botanical name Ipomoea, is a subtropical vine and a member of the morning glory family. A yam, botanically known as Dioscorea, is also tropical in nature, and is grown in several countries for food and the medicinal properties they contain. We find both yams and sweet potatoes at grocery stores, and they are often used interchangably in recipes.

Other than their botanical distinction, there is very little difference in flavor or texture between yams and sweet potatoes.

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