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Sweet Potato vs Yam
The difference between Yams and Sweet Potatoes are many and you will also learn the similarities of Sweet Potato vs Yam. You can learn how to cook yam porridge in the video above
Are yams and sweet potatoes the same thing?
Yams and sweet potatoes are not the same as they have different physical features as well as different nutritional content. Yams are bigger and sweet potatoes are smaller. See their differences below.
Difference between yams and sweet potatoes in terms of physical features
- Yams are bigger in size than sweet potatoes
- Yams are generally brown in color when not pilled but may be yellow, white, watery or appear different when pilled whereas sweet potatoes have different colors when not pilled such as purple sweet potatoes and orange or yellow sweet potatoes
- Yams are planted using the tubers whereas sweet potatoes are planted using the stem
- Yams require bigger ridges to grow very well whereas sweet potatoes require normal ridges as Maize (corn)
- Sweet potatoes are sweeter to taste when eaten raw whereas yams are not as sweet as sweet potatoes; in fact some yams are even very bitter and are called Bitter yam (scientific name is Dioscorea dumetorum)
- Yams cannot be eaten raw but sweet potatoes can be eaten raw (even without cooking sweet potatoes, you can still eat them raw)
- Yams when eaten raw can cause itching of the throat but sweet potatoes can be eaten without causing itching of the throat
- Yams when pilled are slimy and itches the hand even when pilling the skinwhereas sweet potatoes are sticky and do not itch the hand
- The slimy and high starch content of yams can be used for making pounded yam which can be eaten with soup but sweet potatoes may not be used for the same purpose
- When used for making porridge, sweet potatoes porridge taste so sweet you may think granulated sugar was added to it whereas yam porridge may just taste normal as any other carbohydrate food
- Yams take longer period of time before being harvested but sweet potatoes take a shorter period of time
- Though yam and sweet potato have rough skin, Yam tends to have a dark rough skincompared to sweet potato which has a smoother skin.
- The botanical name or scientific name of Sweet potato is Ipomoea batatas
- The scientific name of Water yam is called Dioscorea alata; scientific name of White Yam is Dioscorea rotundata and botanical name of Yellow yam is Dioscorea cayenensis
Sweet Potato vs Yam Similarities
- Yams and sweet potatoes are both tubers
- Yam and sweet potatoes can be used for making porridges such as Yam porridge and sweet potatoes porridge
- Yam and sweet potato are both carbohydrate sources with high starch content
- Yams and sweet potatoes are both vegetables
- Both can be grilled and eaten; fried and eaten such as Fried yam coated with egg or Sweet potatoes chips (Kumara chips)
The main difference between yams and sweet potatoes is in their physical appearance as when pilled and sliced (before cooking) their pictures may be confusing for you.