Are yams and sweet potatoes the same? 

November means turkey, mashed potatoes and bright orange candied yams or, depending on who you ask, candied sweet potatoes.

Are yams and sweet potatoes the same?

While some may use sweet potato and yam interchangeably, botanically speaking, they are completely different vegetables.

Yams are in the family Dioscoreaceae, which contains hundreds of species of yams.

Sweet potatoes are in the family Convolvulaceae, which is the same family as morning glories.

The skin of a white or yellow yam from Africa is typically rough, fibrous and dark brown. The sweet potatoes sold in most U.S. grocery stores have thin, smooth, reddish-brown skin.

Do yams and sweet potatoes look different on the outside?

The flesh of a yam you would find in the U.S. is typically white or yellow, but there are some notable exceptions, such as the purple yam, or ube, from the Philippines.

Do they look different when you cut them open?

Yams are starchier than sweet potatoes and contain less sugar. White and yellow yams resemble a white potato when cooked.

Do yams and sweet potatoes taste the same?

Sweet potatoes are grown in states such as North Carolina and California, but yams are mostly grown commercially in Africa and are typically only found in specialty stores in the U.S.

Where do yams and sweet potatoes grow?

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