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 are usually not the identical factor. They aren’t even from the identical household. Candy potatoes are sometimes known as yams, however the two greens are very totally different. It’s doable 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’ll have about candy potatoes vs. yams. Maintain studying!

Are Yams and Candy Potatoes The Identical?

No, they’re two very totally 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 might 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 foundation. Candy potatoes are the precise root of the plant, thick and scrumptious as they could be. Candy potatoes are native to central or South America, and belong to the morning glory household.

In contrast to 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 vibrant purple. There are such a lot of totally different kinds of candy potatoes: some are starchier and sweeter than others. Extra on the totally 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 sophisticated carbohydrates. Candy potatoes have extra vitamin C, and extra beta-carotene than true yams. Yams boast increased ranges of copper.

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

Why are Candy Potatoes known as Yams?

In U.S. grocery shops you’ll generally discover orange candy potatoes known as yams. You could even check with them as yams your self. Candied yams, anybody? I’ve heard two tales as to why candy potatoes are known 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 title caught, and Individuals continued to name candy potatoes yams.

I’ve additionally learn that when the orange fleshed candy potato was launched, candy potato growers known 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 manner for one state’s candy potato growers to distinguish their similar crop from the others.

Key Variations Between Candy Potatoes & Yams

Candy Potatoes

Easy 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

Delicate 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 Cook 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 Prompt Pot. Relying on the recipe and the way you’ll eat it, you may prepare dinner it entire or reduce it into your required measurement. Chopping it up will lower the cooking time and get you to the dinner desk quicker. All the time verify the tenderness of your candy potato with a fork. The fork will slide throughout when totally cooked.

Sorts of Candy Potatoes

You’ll be laborious pressed to search out yams at your native mainstream grocery retailer when you dwell within the US. Whenever you do discover them, the shop might solely carry one selection. Nonetheless, you’ll doubtless come throughout many types of candy potatoes, all scrumptious. Listed here are the most typical:

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 vibrant purple flesh. Starchy and really candy. Additionally known as purple yams.

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

The Finest Candy Potato Recipes

Candy potatoes are usually not only for Thanksgiving. Candy Potato Casserole topped with marshmallows is sweet, however there are such a lot of extra methods to get pleasure from 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

Pink 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 just a few beneath.

Pounded yam with Egusi stew (

African Yam Stew (

Thai Yam Salad (

Jamaican Yam Mash (