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Posts Tagged ‘yams’

All Hail the Sweet Potato

In our humble opinion, Thanksgiving is superior to any other day of the year. In an effort to make this year’s feast the best of all time (sorry, Pilgrims and Wampanoag tribe), we’re bringing you the recipes, how-tos and decorating ideas to help you become a Turkey Day pro.


Watch out. Sweet potatoes are having a moment. Like a band that suddenly blew up or an ingenue nominated for an Oscar, these rooty tubers have glided into the limelight and, it’s safe to say, the year belongs to them.

What the hell are we talking about? We’re talking about sweet potato soups and snacks and desserts and cocktails, people. We’re talking about the role of side dish, the duty of being a vehicle for marshmallows being over. Everywhere we look, we see sweet potatoes in new weird iterations. Then we eat them.

But the first rule of sweet potatoes is: Don’t get it twisted. Do not call Ipomoea batatas a yam. Here in North America, we fling around the term “yam” like some people say “nucular.” But a yam is actually a larger, lighter-colored, totally different Asian and African root vegetable. In fact, we’re so accustomed to wrongly saying “yams” that here in America, any sweet potato product labeled “yam” must also say “sweet potato.” So, yeah. They’re called sweet potatoes. Unless they’re yams. That’s lesson No. 1.

But that’s enough talk; let’s chow. Here are a few ways you can get hip to sweet potatoes and use these starchy suckers as more than a sad, neglected potluck casserole. Because a yam — er, sweet potato — by any other name would taste as sweet.

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Fall Fest: Thanksgiving Yam and Sweet Potato Sides That Are Almost Desserts

Sometimes on Thanksgiving, after taking a bite of that traditional pecan- and marshmallow-studded Sweet Potato Casserole, I wonder, “Is this really a side dish, or a dessert?”  If you’d like an excuse to squeeze in another sweet dish but don’t have room on your dessert spread (what with the must-have pumpkin and pecan pies), the flavor profile of sweet potatoes and yams often occupies that liminal space between side dish and dessert. Besides, who wouldn’t want a bit of dessert for dinner?

Here are five side dishes that get the sweet treatment:

Continue Reading Fall Fest: Thanksgiving Yam and Sweet Potato Sides That Are Almost Desserts

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