Saturday, April 30

Sweet Potatoes and Yams

Apparently sweet potatoes and yams are different, even if people use them interchangeably all the time.  As I just cooked one of the two and wanted to write about it, I investigated.  Here's what I've learned: sweet potatoes are the ones that taper to a point.  There are lighter-skinned potatoes and darker-skinned sweet potatoes.  Sweet potatoes have a huge amount of vitamin A and a good amount of vitamin C, manganese, fiber, potassium, and iron.  On the other hand, yams are actually not native to the US and they are kind of like bananas/plantains in that there are over a hundred varieties and as really culturally and gastronomically aware Americans, we often get confused.  But no longer!  Yams are usually sweeter than sweet potatoes (whodda thunk) and we all know that yammies and yummy.  In terms of nutrients, yams have a decent amount of vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and manganese.

Baking yams or sweet potatoes is awesome, takes very little effort, and is SO CHEAP.  You can get them for about $0.75 to $1.25 per pound.  The easiest way to cook them is to just stick them, skin and all, into the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until you can easily slip a knife through them.

The way I do it is a little bit more labor intensive, but not by much.  Peel the potatoes/yams and then cut them into little trapezoidal things.  I'm not entirely sure why, but that's what my mother does.  Coat the pieces with oil, season them with salt and pepper, and stick them in the oven at 350 degrees.

my sweet potato

The great thing about doing it this way is that it the oil makes the outside a little burned and crispy while the salt and pepper taste SO GOOD.  And bam.  A meal/part of a meal/snack thing for like a dollar.  Deliciousness.

I'm going through an Edith Piaf phase.  Here is the video that kind of started it:

video

My grandmother, ladies and gentlemen.  Here's the song she is referring to, Edith Piaf's "Non, je ne regrette rien":

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