The true Yam (Dioscorea batatas) are sometimes mistakenly refered to as "sweet potato" (Ipomoea batatas) , when in fact they are not even distantly related.
Yam's contain more sugar and moisture content than sweet potato, and can grow to over seven feet in length. It's skin is brown or black, and resembles the bark of a tree. The flesh of the yam maybe white, purple or red, depending on variety, and they can be stored for up to six months without refrigeration.
Yams are high in dietary fiber, Vitamins B6 & C, potassium and manganese
The vegetable has a rough skin which is difficult to peel, but which softens after heating. The skins vary in color from dark brown to light pink. The majority of the vegetable is composed of a much softer substance known as the "meat". This substance ranges in color from white or yellow to purple or pink in ripe yams.
Selecting and Buying
Sweet pots/yams have a higher water content than potatoes so just watch your cooking time, etc.
Preparation and Use
The yam is a versatile vegetable which has various derivative products after process, it can be barbecued; roasted; fried; grilled; boiled; smoked and when grated it is processed into a desert recipe.
Conserving and Storing
The tubers can be stored up to six months without refrigeration, which makes them a valuable resource for the yearly period of food scarcity at the beginning of the wet season.
Cooked yams may be kept refrigerated for 2 to 3 days. Cooked yams may be frozen using the same method as sweet potatoes.