This week I received a couple of questions from y’all, and here are the answers I have come up with. Have some questions you would like to ask? Please feel free to ask your questions!
What’s the difference between sweet potatoes and yams? Can I use them interchangeably?
You know I thought that was a great question, I honestly don’t know either. I have always thought I bought canned yams, and then I had bought fresh sweet potatoes. So Yams and Sweet Potatoes are completely different plants, they are not the same at all.
Yams are actually related to lilies and grasses, and they are native to Africa. There are hundreds of varieties of yams and when compared to sweet potatoes, yams are starchier and drier. They also can be very long, and have a skin that is similar to tree bark. Yams can grow up to seven feet. When you bite into a yam it will have a crumbly texture, something like a baked potato.
Sweet potatoes are related to the morning glory family. They come in several different varities, they come in hard and soft varities, when you cook the hard variety, they stay hard, and the the soft variety becomes soft after cooking. Sweet potatoes have a smooth skin. It is the soft variety of sweet potatoes that are often labeled as “yam”, so no wonder we get confused. You will typically find fresh sweet potatoes in the stores.
With those very different set of characteristics I don’t think we can use yams and sweet potatoes interchangeably. They are very different vegetables. Some of the confusion came in when some cultures saw a sweet potato for the first time and called them yams.
Article on difference between Yams and Sweet Potatoes
Mysteries of the Sweet Potatoes
What’s the difference between yams and sweet potatoes
Boston Market Sweet Potato Casserole
La Comedia Sweet Potato Souffle
I have some really old recipes, some over 100 years, they call for some unusual measurements. How much is a scant?
Here are some measurements and what they should be.
Speck – the amount that would cover a 1/4 inch surface area, or a quick shake from a spice box.
Scant – can be used in referring to a teaspoon, tablespoon, or even a cup, it actually means a little less than. So if you see this measure your normal quantity and take a little bit of it out. Scant is actually not a good way to describe measurements.
Pinch – is generally less than 1/8 th of a teaspoon.
Good Cooking.com’s measurement converter