These yams are simple & tasty; the perfect complement to your turkey and stuffing, both in taste and color. I love the richness it adds to the plate.
Except...these aren't yams. After discussing the difference between yams and sweet potatoes with a friend, and thinking I had the differences down, and after buying 3 large 'yams' at the supermarket...I wasn't convinced that I was right about what is a yam and what isn't. I doubted - what IS a yam? And after going on about 15 web sites and piecing together information (can I get a picture, for Christ's sakes?) I found out that while on paper I did 'know' the differences (yams aren't as sweet, they are difficult to come by in the US, they have a darker skin, etc.), I still couldn't identify one at the market. And my guess is that many of you can't, either. In the three pictures below, can you tell me which one is yams?
|From my most recent CSA shipment|
|Beauties at the grocery store...I bought 3|
Answer: Trick question, none of them are. I thought that #3 was, and I was wrong. But don't feel bad if you can't identify a yam - most Americans have never actually seen one. See below...even Vons Supermarket thinks these are yams. Although, that's not the funniest thing in this picture - these yam imposters were just .48 cents per pound when I bought mine 2 days ago!
HERE for the best explanation I found on the differences between yams and sweet potatoes. Now you don't need to go searching any longer. ;-)
|True yams get up to 7 ft long|
|True Yams |
|My soon-to-be famous Yams with Spiced Beer Jelly|
And just in case you were wondering...
Photo #1. Muraskai Sweet Potatoes from Farm Fresh to You
Photo #2. Sweet potatoes commonly found in supermarkets - these were at Vons
Photo #3. Orange-flesh sweet potatoes labeled as yams at Vons supermarket
Spiced Beer Jelly Yams...er, Sweet Potatoes
3 Large Sweet Potatoes (labeled "Yams")
1 stick of butter, sliced in 4 pieces (I didn't say these are the healthy version)
6-8 oz. of Spiced Beer Jelly (See Blog Post for how to make)
2 cinnamon sticks
Peel and cut sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Place cubes into a large pot along with cinnamon sticks and fill with water, covering yams by 1 inch. Cook on high for approximately 30-40 minutes (I cooked for 40) until you can easily smash with a fork. Pour cubes into a colander. Remove cinnamon sticks. Move cubes to a ceramic bowl, add butter. Continue to smash and stir with a fork until you get the sweet potatoes to a smooth consistency. Add spiced beer jelly 1 spoonful at a time to incorporate throughout. You can use a mixer to make these last steps easier, but I like the look and texture when I do it by hand. xo, AB