Yams vs Sweet Potatoes

What’s the difference between a sweet potato and a yam?

Depending on who you ask…

Although orange-fleshed sweet potatoes have traditionally been referred to as “yams” in parts of the United States and Canada, they are not part of the same family as True Yams and therefore that are not actually “yams”.  True Yams are cultivated in Africa, Asia, Latin America, The Caribbean and Oceania and not traditionally in the United States or Canada.


In the United States, it’s easier.

Today it is still accepted that the word “Yam” can be used to describe the moist orange fleshed varieties of sweet potatoes, though we advise using the proper term “Sweet Potato” or “Sweetpotato”.