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National Sweet Potato Awareness Month

November is National Sweet Potato Awareness Month. The focus of this celebration is to inform people of the differences between sweet potatoes and yams.

There is a bit of confusion when it comes to the yam. What most people call a yam is actually a sweet potato, and it’s possible that you’ve never even tasted a yam! Here are some fun facts for you to share with family and friends:

  • A true yam is a starchy edible root and is generally imported from the Caribbean. It has a dry, starchy and more potato-like flesh that is usually not very sweet. Some yams are the size and shape of small potatoes; others can grow up to 5ft in length and weigh over 100 lbs. Most have a dark bark-like skin.
  • Sweet potatoes are almost always sweeter than yams. They are more slender in appearance than a potato, and have tapered ends. In the U.S., the majority of sweet potatoes are sold in one of four varieties:
    • Rose color skin with orange flesh
    • Pale copper/tan skin with white flesh
    • Red skin, dry white flesh
    • Purple skin and flesh
  • Sweet potatoes are very nutritious. They have more sugar, protein, calcium, iron, sodium, vitamin A, beta-carotene, and water than yams.
  • Yams are also very nutritious. They have more fat, carbs, fiber, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and vitamin E than sweet potatoes.
  • Yams are grown around the world, but 95% of them are grown in West Africa.
  • In the U.S., over 50% of our sweet potatoes are grown in North Carolina.

Thanksgiving is almost here. Are you ready to put a big scoop of sweet potatoes on your plate and have a slice of sweet potato pie? I am!