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Information about Yam

 Featured Ingredient - West Indies  




Go to:-   West Indies Speciality Dish  |  West Indies Main Page  |  Cooking by Country Main Page




Some people  call the smaller, usually red-skinned "sweet potatoes" Yams, but don't confuse the two. True yams belong to an entirely different  plant family, the Dioscoreaceae (plant group Monocotyledon).  They are popular in South and Central America, the Caribbean and parts of Asia and Africa.


These monsters of a vegetable are usually harvested at about 2-6 pounds although they can grow much larger. The plants are climbing perennial vines with shiny, heart-shaped leaves, arising from the large underground tubers.  Unlike sweet potatoes, the skin is rough and scaly and the flesh firm and pale.


When buying yams, select unblemished tubers with tight, unwrinkled skins. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 2 weeks.  Yam can be used in place of ordinary (Irish) potatoes or sweet potatoes in many recipes.


You will find recipes using this versatile vegetable  on  the West Indies Cooking by Country main page,  but do experiment. 


Happy Cooking!

Cooking by Country - W. Indies

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