What's the difference between a sweet potato and a yam? The answer actually isn't that complicated if you live in the United States. What Americans call yams are actually an orange-flesh variety of the sweet potato.
Normal sweet potatoes have a white, starchy flesh. But the darker colored flesh of the yam variety is sweeter, and probably what most people think of when someone mentions sweet potatoes in general. These are what we all put out on Thanksgiving with marshmallow topping.
A real yam (yams to the rest of the world) are cultivated in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Oceania are not related to the sweet potato. You'll almost never see these in the United States.
At the Market of Lafayette Hill, we usually only carry the yam variety of sweet potatoes. You'll find them in our potatoes and onions section labeled as "Sweet Potoato Yams".
The following recipe for Camotes al Horno (Baked Yams) is a traditional dish from Puebla, Mexico:
6 small sweet potato yams
6 tablespoons butter
6 teaspoons honey
3 teaspoons white sugar
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).
Place yams in a large pot of lightly salted, boiling water and cook for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain.
Arrange the yams in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Cut a slit down the middle of each one and dab 1 tablespoon of butter in each.
Bake in the preheated oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until golden. Spoon 1 teaspoon honey into each yam, sprinkle each with sugar and serve.