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Y is for Yams. Well originally Y was for Yeast but like I had mentioned earlier as well that while researching for other topics I came across Yams hence Y became Yams. So what is Yam?

Wikipedia defines Yam as a common name for some plant species in the genus Dioscorea (family Dioscoreaceae) that form edible tubers. Yams are perennial herbaceous vines cultivated for the consumption of their starchy tubers in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and Oceania. There are many cultivars of yam.

Although some varieties of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) are also called yam in parts of the United States and Canada, sweet potato is not part of the family Dioscoreaceae and belongs to altogether a different family Convolvulaceae and is related to morning glory.

Interestingly, both yams and sweet potatoes are angiosperms – flowering plants, botanically they are not related. While Yams are a monocot i.e. plants having one embryonic seed leaf, sweet potatoes, which are often confused with yams, are a dicot – plants with two embryonic seed leaves and belong to the morning glory family.

Apparently there are numerous cultivars of Yams however the white and the yellow yams, which are native to Africa, are the most important cultivated yams. Initially these two yams were considered as two separate species; however after some research experts regard them as the same species. It is believed that there are more than 200 cultivated varieties between both white and yellow yam.

Despite being of the same species, both white and yellow yams are different from each other. As Wikipedia explains the difference – while white yam’s tuber is roughly cylindrical in shape, the skin is smooth and brown and the flesh usually white and firm. Yellow yam is named after its yellow flesh, a colour caused by the presence of carotenoids. It looks similar to the white yam in outer appearance; its tuber skin is usually a bit firmer and less extensively grooved. The yellow yam has a longer period of vegetation and a shorter dormancy than white yam.

So now you know what is a yam and what is sweet potato – I hope you will be buying the authentic yam and not a sweet potato variety.A2Z-BADGE-000 [2015] - Life is Good

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