Thursday, December 5, 2013

[Popeye joke goes here]

Right so. Maybe this is one of those things that everyone else can keep straight and it's only me getting confused. Totally wouldn't be the first time. But I pretty constantly heard the terms "sweet potato" and "yam" used interchangeably when I was just a wee little barista, and I took it for granted for a good while that they were indeed the same thing.

And it's a more relevant discussion this time of year since it seems like this is when sweet potatoes are kind of everywhere, given its status as a go-to side dish for holiday gatherings. I read cooking blogs and food blogs a lot, naturally. And there was a lot of discussion this year about how essential the archetypal sweet potato casserole and, given how strongly people feel about what constitutes a "proper" holiday feast, there were some strong opinions on both sides. Proponents feel that this:

must at all costs be a part of essentially every meal between approximately Halloween and New Years Day. Gotta admit me that looks like a horror show of sugar. Granted I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but there have definitely been some vehement familial disagreements--sometimes not particularly genial--during meal planning discussions. 

Would it aid things at all to swap the sweet potatoes out for yams? Probably not; they're not actually very interchangeable, culinarily. Yams are far starchier and drier (and, you ask me, lacking in flavor) Yams also have far less beta carotene than sweet potatoes, if that's important to you. Though maybe yams make for better french fries? Suddenly I'm super-curious. 

Of course, the best application of sweet potatoes (the real ones) is probably our sweet potato pecan praline gelato. Tastes as good as it looks, it does:

So y'know. We're always here. C'mon in!

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