Yams or Sweet potatoes!

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Joined Apr 3, 2008
What's the difference I'll never know.  But I sure do love my mashed sweet potatoes with lots of butter and allspice.  Any creative ideas on how you're serving your orange fluff this year?
 
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Joined Aug 6, 2010
While yams are popular in other parts of the world, you don't really see real yams (at least I haven't) in the States. What you have are different varieties of sweet potatoes that people may call yams. In reality, there are quite different species, I think.

Sweet potatoes are a staple around the holidays for us, and are eaten frequently throughout the year. I love baked sweet potatoes, and given the option at a restaurant, always choose the sweet potato over a potato. There's a fantastic French Creole restaurant in Baton Rouge that offers fried sweet potato chips as a sort of amuse bouche. I love sweet potato fries as well. Sweet potato souffle is a delicious treat. Hard to beat spiced mashed sweet potatoes, as you mentioned...I think the possibilities are quite limitless.
 
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Joined Nov 16, 2010
Hi "K",

  The difference between a Yam and a Sweet Potato is this... a Sweet potato is a member of the Tuber family (part of a root system) which grows under ground. A Yam is also a member of the Tuber family however, it grows on a vine above ground and is native to South America. Somewhere along the line the two names have become synonomous with each other. And, canned Sweet Potatoes are often mislabeled as Yams. I would say if you run across a REALLY expensive can of "Yams", you might have found actual Yams. Dan
 
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I'm a little vague on this, Dan, but I always had the impression that yams were actual roots, rather than tubers.

Other than that, yams and sweet potatoes are totally unrelated. Sweet potatoes are Ipomoea batatas, of the family Convolvulaceae, and their closest familiar relatives are morning glories. Yams are in the family Dioscoreaceae, which puts them three steps back on the taxonomic chain.

True yams are often available in Carribean markets, because they're very popular in the islands. But other than that, it's rare, indeed, that they appear in the U.S.

Personally, I've never been a fan of dousing sweet potatoes with syrups. They're sweet enough, as it is, and I go a different route. For instance, I do a major variation of a recipe that originally appeared in Vegetarian Life magazine:

Hazelnut Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

3 medium sweet potatoes

1 apple, peeled, cored, chopped

1/3 cup apple juice or cider

1/4 cup currants

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 cup yogurt or creme fraiche

6 tbls chopped toasted hazelnuts (filberts)

Preheat oven to 375F. Wrap the potates in foil and bake until tender, about an hour. Let cool.

In a skillet over medium high heat, cook the apple in the juice until softened. Stir in the currants, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cover and set aside.

Divide the sweet potatoes the long way, and scoop out the flesh. Put the shells in a baking dish and set aside.

Add the apple mixture and yogurt to the potatoes and mix well to combine. Fill the shells and sprinkle each with a tablespoon of the chopped nuts.

Return to oven and bake 20 minutes or until heated through.
 
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Joined Oct 15, 2010
Whatever you call it, I like mine simple. Love eating it plain after roasting in the oven till tender. Or, mash it with just a touch of cream.

Oven roasted fries seasoned with a little salt and cayenne is also good.
 
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Joined Oct 11, 2010
While I don't like syrups and don't add anything sweet to the actual sweet potatoes, I do like to add something a little sweet and crunchy to for texture.

This year, I'm making a simple bake.

4 large cold, mashed sweet potatoes

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup softened butter

3 eggs

big pinch of salt

tsp vanilla extract

I beat the everything above together until smooth and transfer to a baking dish (2qt should do).  And then, for the topping:

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup a/p flour

4 tbsp cold butter

I combine the pecans, brown sugar and flour in a bowl and cut in the butter until it's cumbly.  I sprinkle this over the top of the sweet potato mixture and bake at 325 (uncovered) for about 50 minutes or until golden.

Yummy. :)
 
477
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Joined Aug 6, 2010
While I don't like syrups and don't add anything sweet to the actual sweet potatoes, I do like to add something a little sweet and crunchy to for texture.

This year, I'm making a simple bake.

4 large cold, mashed sweet potatoes

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup softened butter

3 eggs

big pinch of salt

tsp vanilla extract

I beat the everything above together until smooth and transfer to a baking dish (2qt should do).  And then, for the topping:

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup a/p flour

4 tbsp cold butter

I combine the pecans, brown sugar and flour in a bowl and cut in the butter until it's cumbly.  I sprinkle this over the top of the sweet potato mixture and bake at 325 (uncovered) for about 50 minutes or until golden.

Yummy. :)

 That's almost exactly the recipe I use. Sometimes I use walnuts or hazelnuts instead of pecans.

But please, please, please, people. No marshmellows on sweet potato casserole.
 
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ChefB: If the quote function is giving you problems (which doesn't surprise me; all those extensional functions seem to be a little ga-ga the past few days), just cut and paste the part of the quote you need.
 
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i do a spiced sweet potato torte....done in a springform pan, layer of sweet potatoes(steamed), followed by a layer of sour cream, then sprinkled with a mix of curry,cumin, cinnamon, allspice and ginger, then a layer of grated extra sharp white cheddar...repeat with 2 more layers and bake...beautiful when sliced and can be made 2 days ahead and reheated....i just love this dish...also, i like to do something similar to chef bazookas and tylerm's souffle, but i add a tsp each of vanilla, coconut and  orange extract.... 

joey
 
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KY and durangojo, I've cut and pasted those recipes to my online recipe book.  Can't wait to try them! 
 
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The best thing about my Mom's candied sweet potatoes was the citrus content.

She would divide oranges in half, juice 'em, and scrape out any pulp. The her mixture of mashed sweet potatoes, maple syrup, whatever (including some crushed pineapple, btw) was used as a filling for the orange shells. These were topped with the dreaded mini-mallows, and broiled until the marshmallows melted and browned.

Very pretty presentation. But cloying, to say the least.

Maybe that's where I developed my antipathy to sweetened sweet potatoes?
 
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As much as I loathe marshmallows (in or on anything, not just sweet potatoes), in good conscience I couldn't have passed on your mother's candied deliciousness.  They sound divine.  Based on all the citrus comments I think I'm going to have to add some to my bake this year. 
 
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The best thing about my Mom's candied sweet potatoes was the citrus content.

She would divide oranges in half, juice 'em, and scrape out any pulp. The her mixture of mashed sweet potatoes, maple syrup, whatever (including some crushed pineapple, btw) was used as a filling for the orange shells. These were topped with the dreaded mini-mallows, and broiled until the marshmallows melted and browned.

Very pretty presentation. But cloying, to say the least.

Maybe that's where I developed my antipathy to sweetened sweet potatoes?
OK, which of there is "close"??? /img/vbsmilies/smilies/rollsmile.gif

                    
* Exported from MasterCook *

              Mary's Mashed Sweet Potatoes In Orange Halves

Recipe By     :
Serving Size  : 7     Preparation Time :0:00
Categories    :

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  4              large  sweet potatoes, 4 lbs. -- (4-6)
     1/2           cup  sugar
  1                cup  orange juice
     1/2           cup  packed brown sugar
     1/2           cup  butter, melted
  1                cup  hot milk
  1           teaspoon  ground nutmeg
  1           teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  1           teaspoon  vanilla extract
  8                     navel oranges -- (8 - 10)
  1          cup small  marshmallows

1. Cook sweet potatoes in lightly salted boiling water until fork tender, about 35 minutes. Drain and cool.

2. When cool enough to handle, peel and mash sweet potatoes.

3. In large bowl, combine mashed sweet potatoes, sugar, orange juice, brown sugar, butter, milk, spices and vanilla. Beat until fluffy and smooth.

4. Cut navel oranges in half and gently hollow out the pulp. (Use pulp in fruit cups, orange sherbet, ambrosia or fruit punch.)

5. Fill hollowed orange halves with the sweet potato mixture, mounding high. Dot tops with marshmallows.

6. Bake in preheated 300 to 350 degree oven just until marshmallows start to melt. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Time short? Spoon mashed sweet potato mixture into greased 3 quart casserole, top with marshmallows and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Source:
  "cooks.com"
S(URL):
  "http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1650,156172-238204,00.html"
                                    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 233 Calories; 2g Fat (5.5% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 55g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 5mg Cholesterol; 26mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Fruit; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 0 Fat; 2 Other Carbohydrates.


Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

                      
* Exported from MasterCook *

                      Sweet Potatoes In Orange Cups

Recipe By     :
Serving Size  : 0     Preparation Time :0:00
Categories    :

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
     1/4           cup  melted butter
     1/3           cup  brown sugar
     1/4      teaspoon  cinnamon
  2       (1 pound) can  or 3 c. mashed cooked sweet potatoes
  3             medium  oranges, cut in half -- (3 to 4)
                        Miniature marshmallows

Melt butter and brown sugar in saucepan. Add cinnamon and sweet potatoes and mix well. Scallop orange shells, scoop out orange pulp and reserve juice. If desired, add enough of the reserved orange juice to moisten the potatoes well. Pack into orange cups and mound slightly. Cover tops with marshmallows. Heat in a 350 degree oven for about 20 to 30 minutes before serving.

Source:
  "cooks.com"
S(URL):
  "http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1850,144168-246197,00.html"
                                    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 590 Calories; 46g Fat (68.3% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 48g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 124mg Cholesterol; 487mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 9 Fat; 3 Other Carbohydrates.


Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0 0 0

 
 
6,367
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Joined Feb 1, 2007
I've no doubt, Pete, that the original recipe came from one of the food providers; the mini-marshmallow folks, perhaps, or the guys who canned the sweet potatoes. Maybe one of those "cookbooks" that lined the check-out counter?

In the late '50s this would probably have been the height of sophistication.

As a kid I devoured them. But we were dirt poor, and almost never saw candy or other sweets. So these were a real treat. As my palete developed, however, I got further and further from such cloyingly sweet foods. Now I can't imagine eating one of these.
 
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Joined Oct 11, 2010
Here's all that are available in the way of sweet potatoes and/or yams at my grocer and the accompanying sign (Kroger):



 
477
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Joined Aug 6, 2010
Bazookas. Those are, in fact, sweet potatoes. Kroger is a bit misinformed with their produce. That should tell you something.
 
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