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Thread: Are sweet potatoes orange or white? page

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    June's Avatar
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    Are sweet potatoes orange or white?

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    My grocery store has "sweet potatoes" that are white and "yams" that are orange. Every sweet potato I've had in a restaurant is orange. Which ones should I buy, and is the grocery store mixed up?

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    June's Avatar
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    n the United States, sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas), especially those with orange flesh, are often referred to as "yams." In the United States, firm varieties of sweet potatoes were produced before soft varieties. When soft varieties were first grown commercially, there was a need to differentiate between the two. African slaves had already been calling the soft sweet potatoes "yams" because they resembled the yams in Africa. Thus, soft sweet potatoes were referred to as yams to distinguish them from the firm varieties.[21] Sweet potatoes labeled as "yams" are widely available in markets that serve Asian or Caribbean communities.

    Today the U.S. Department of Agriculture requires[22] sweet potatoes labeled with the term "yam" to be accompanied by the term "sweet potato."

    I found the answer.

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    I found Asian ones that are purple on the outside, with white flesh.

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    A real yam is a much larger tuber from a different plant family. What they're selling as yams at the grocery store are actually just orange sweet potatoes. I like the flavour of the orange ones better, and they're usually the only kind available where I live anyhow. I haven't tried the purple ones, but I hear they're good too.
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