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Sweet potato vs. yam: What’s the difference?

Have you ever eaten a yam? Maybe. Maybe not. In this Vox video, Joss Fong (and Mac Rogers, the President of the Sweet Potato Council) explain how American history has led us into a few hundred years of tuber confusion.

The reason “yams” and sweet potatoes taste the same to Americans is because they are the same. What producers and grocery stores in the US have been calling “yams” are actually sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas).

Real yams (of the genus Diascorea) are not grown commercially in the United States. You probably have to visit an international grocery store to find them. Check out the video above to see what a real yam looks like and learn how its name became attached to an entirely different vegetable.

For another mind-blowing food vid, watch There’s No Such Thing As Vegetables. Plus: The Journey of Vanilla.

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