Yams and sweet potatoes have distinct differences in their botanical classification, shape, skin color, flesh color, taste, cooking method, texture, nutritional content, and culinary uses.
24 Difference Between Yams and Sweet Potatoes
Yams belong to the Dioscoreaceae family, while sweet potatoes are part of the Convolvulaceae family.
Yams are native to Africa and Asia, while sweet potatoes are native to South America.
Yams are cylindrical, while sweet potatoes are typically more oblong or tapered at the ends.
Yams have a rough, dark, and bark-like skin, while sweet potatoes have a smooth, thin skin that can range from light beige to dark orange.
Yams have a white, yellow, or purple flesh, while sweet potatoes have an orange, yellow, or white flesh.
Yams have a starchy, slightly sweet taste, while sweet potatoes are sweeter and moister.
People usually boil or roast yams, while they commonly bake or fry sweet potatoes.
Yams have a denser and drier texture, while sweet potatoes are softer and moister.
Yams are a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamin C, while sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, beta-carotene, and potassium.
Yams have a lower glycemic index compared to sweet potatoes, which means they do not cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels.
Yams are primarily grown in Africa and Asia, where they are an important staple crop. They are also grown in some parts of South America and the Caribbean. In these regions, yams are typically more affordable and widely available.
Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, are grown in many different parts of the world, including the United States, China, and Africa. They are generally more widely available and affordable compared to yams in most regions.
Store yams in a cool, dry place for several months, but store sweet potatoes in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated place and use them within a few weeks.
Yams prefer slightly cooler temperatures, around 13-16°C (55-60°F), while sweet potatoes prefer slightly warmer temperatures, around 18-21°C (65-70°F).
Yams take longer to cook than sweet potatoes because of their denser texture.
Yams go well in stews, soups, and casseroles; sweet potatoes are great for pies, puddings, and side dishes.
There are over 600 varieties of yams, while there are around 4,000 varieties of sweet potatoes.
The skin of yams is rough and fibrous, while the skin of sweet potatoes is thin and smooth.
Yams can grow up to 1.5 meters long and weigh up to 70 kg, while sweet potatoes are typically smaller and lighter.
Yams grow best in warm, tropical climates, while sweet potatoes can tolerate cooler temperatures and are grown in a wider range of climates.
Yams are usually harvested after 6-12 months, while sweet potatoes can be harvested after 3-4 months.
Yams are a staple food in many African and Asian cuisines, while sweet potatoes are commonly consumed in North and South America.
Yams are a major source of food and income for many rural communities in Africa and Asia, while sweet potatoes are also important in the agriculture industry and trade.
Yams are often cooked with spices and seasonings to enhance their flavor, while sweet potatoes are often prepared with brown sugar, cinnamon, and other sweet ingredients.
Yams are commonly used in dishes like yam fries, yam chips, yam pudding, and yam cake, while sweet potatoes are used in dishes like sweet potato casserole, sweet potato pie, and mashed sweet potatoes.
Yams have been a staple food in Africa and Asia for thousands of years, while sweet potatoes have a long history in South America.
Both are versatile ingredients used in many dishes, and have health benefits.