Quick Tip

Thanksgiving Planning

by Monica Gullon


Just because Thanksgiving is the most important family meal of the year doesn't mean you have to spend hundreds of hours cooking and cleaning. Here are some ways to keep the holiday hassle to a minimum.



Sweet Potato or Yam?

by Monica Gullon

Can you tell the difference between a sweet potato and a yam? While they look alike and can be substituted for each other in recipes, these two Thanksgiving Day classics come from different plant families.

The sweet potato (which incidentally, is also not related to the potato) is a large edible root that belongs to the morning glory family and is a native to tropical areas of the Americas. The yam is a member of the Dioscoreaceae family of tropical and subtropical climbing herbs and shrubs which grow in the Americas, parts of Asia and Africa.

Both can be similar in size, shape and color. Sweet potatoes and yams come in yellow and deep orange colors. (Yams, are also available in white, purple and pink.) Yams are higher in moisture, while sweet potatoes are higher in vitamins A and C—but these factors are difficult to spot while shopping at the grocery store.

At Thanksgiving the differences between sweet potatoes and yams don't matter much, since many folks feel they both taste great baked with marshmallows on top. Of course, marshmallows don't come from the marshmallow plant. They're made from corn syrup, gelatin, gum arabic and flavoring.

This page originally published as part of the electronic Gourmet Guide between 1994 and 1998.

Copyright © 2007, Forkmedia LLC. All rights reserved.


Modified August 2007