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Sweet Potatoes & Yams


batata dulce


boniato = tropical sweet potato = Cuban sweet potato = white sweet potato = white-fleshed sweet potato = batiste = batata = batata dulce = camote   Notes:   Boniatos aren't as sweet and moist as other sweet potatoes, but many people prefer their fluffier consistency and more delicate flavor.  Store them at room temperature and use them soon after your purchase them, since they tend to spoil quickly.  Substitutes: sweet potato (This is sweeter and moister than a boniato.) OR yam (moister) OR russet potato  


Cuban sweet potato

cush-cush  See tropical yam

greater yam  See tropical yam

igname  Pronunciation:   EE-nyahm  

Japanese yam = satsuma imo = kotobuki = Japanese sweet potato  Notes:  Don't confuse this with yamaimo.  

 mapuey  See tropical yam

namé  Pronunciation:   nah-MAY

Okinawan purple potato = Okinawan yam  Notes:  The flesh of this Japanese sweet potato is vivid purple.   It's perfect for tempura, but it can also be baked, sauteed, boiled, steamed, or mashed.  Substitutes:   Japanese yam


sweet potato  Notes:   In American supermarkets, sweet potatoes are displayed next to something called "yams," which are moister than sweet potatoes and have darker skins.  But according to the rest of the world (and botanists), we have it all wrong.  To them, our  "yams" are just a variety of sweet potatoes.  They use the word yam to describe a completely different vegetable, something we call a tropical yam.   

Sweet potatoes are quite versatile, but they're most often baked, candied, or made into pies.  It's best not to boil them, as they'll lose much of their flavor.  

 Substitutes:  yams (less mealy and sweeter than sweet potato) OR boniato (less sweet and fluffier) OR mashed cooked pumpkin (especially for pies) 

tropical sweet potato

tropical yam = true yam = greater yam = cush-cush = mapuey = yampi = namé =  name = nyami = igname   Notes:   These firm, white-fleshed yams are widely used in tropical countries.   They're somewhat bland and dry, so they're often served with spicy sauces.   Substitutes: sweet potato   


true yam  See tropical yam

yacon Substitutes:  sweet potato OR yam

yam = moist-fleshed sweet potato   Notes:   Americans use the word "yam" to refer to a sweet, moist, orange-fleshed variety of sweet potato.   To everyone else in the world, a yam is what Americans call a tropical yam, a firm tuber with white flesh.  Varieties of American "yams" (sweet potatoes) include the garnet yam (pictured at left) and the jewel yam.   Substitutes:  sweet potatoes (drier, less sweet, and often more expensive)

yamaimo = Japanese mountain yam  Notes:  This is a sticky yam that the Japanese peel and grate or julienne for salads.  It's also fried or used to make soba noodles.

yampi  See tropical yam



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