Sweet Potatoes or Yams?

Apparently one of my friends strongly frowns upon putting marshmallows on sweet-potato casserole. Actually, he was so irked that he said “mushrooms,” which led to some very strange looks and snarky comments about what kind of mushrooms.

Of course, you can do both and make candy mushrooms. Although these are not marshmallow mushrooms, but still…

Are candied yams sweet potatoes? If you are from parts of the US, especially the southern climes, you blink at the question and reply, “Of course they are” and present the interlocutor with the church-supper-sized can of Candied Yams.


I yam what I yam, unless I sweet tater.

Sweet potatoes are part of the yam family. But not all yams are sweet potatoes. And I suspect your Aunt Gertrude who is anticipating the sweet potato casserole with oranges and pecans is going to have a conniption fit if she sees a bright purple dish appear before her (Okinawan yam) or is presented with taro root.

The Red family does sweet potatoes with marshmallows [Sorry, Jim.] And pecans, and Mandarin oranges, and orange juice, and cinnamon, and nutmeg, and a wee bit of clove. I happen to love sweet potatoes in all forms, baked, as fries, as casseroles and soufflés, you name it.

So a very happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, no matter what color your potatoes may be, or what toppings and spices you prefer. I’m thankful for food on the table, family around the table, friends who grouse about what goes into the stuff on the table, and for living in a place where I can give thanks without fear of persecution.

Please pass the dark meat.


9 thoughts on “Sweet Potatoes or Yams?

  1. Doesn’t really matter, I ain’t eatin’ either one. I’m not really a picky eater, but sweet taters (or yams) and squash are two foods I don’t eat.

    • I once made sweet-potato pie and took it to work, but did not say what it was. Nor did I call it pumpkin. I just left it in the break room. The chief mechanic had two huge slices before the boss inquired why the pumpkin pie had a different taste than usual – good, but different. I admitted that it was sweet potato, the mechanic made a face and declared “Ugh! I hate sweet potatoes. This tastes nasty!” and stormed off. *shrug* He became my #1 inspiration for “things I will not do to employees.”

      • You can make “pumpkin pie” with squash and it will taste like pumpkin also (I’ve never had sweet potato pie, so unsure of it’s exact taste). Pumpkin pie is definitely not my favorite pie, but it is certainly very edible, and it still is even if made with squash. On the other hand you can fix pumpkin to make it taste like acorn squash and then the pumpkin isn’t edible in my opinion, either.

  2. Woohoo! Someone else on the dark (meat) side of the forc… turkey! Hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    And I’ll help eat the sweet potatoes with marshmallows, so Someone doesn’t have to see such a terrible sight among the dinner spread… 🙂

  3. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! And I might just put mushrooms on the other end of the cassarole… 😀 FYI, the Okinawan version are good too! But you’re right, they are a funny color. 🙂

  4. In the Philippines, they have purple yam and cheese flavored ice cream. (Ube kezo, or something like that.) One of the local Korean grocery stores carries it, and one of these days I will buy it.

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