Difference between a Yam and a Sweet Potato

Difference between a Yam and a Sweet Potato

To take up this subject you have to like a good debate or a fight, or maybe you just need to like farming or food history. Let me give you a little sweet potato background.

At one time, my home state of Louisiana was the biggest sweet potato shipper in the U.S.. But then along came the Sweet Potato Weevil. By the time I came along, the sweet potato industry in south Louisiana was just a fraction of its original size because of the Weevil’s devastation. But – in it’s heyday, the term ” Louisiana yams” was coined. It was on their boxes, in their ads, on their displays, etc.. There were sweet potatoes canned called Louisiana candied yams. I believe the term Louisiana Yam was even patented and could only be used on Louisiana sweet potatoes.

Well everyone within the industry knew that a true yam and a sweet potato were not the same. Most true yams are grown in Africa and are a different deal altogether. One expert on the internet wrote an article that said, ”Louisiana was guilty of throwing the whole United States into confusion”. It’s possible that I add to it in a way, as the boxes, in which I ship to the stores, are ordered from Louisiana and say ”Fresh Yams”. Notice that it doesn’t say Louisiana yams because of their patent. Besides some confusion, Louisiana has contributed a lot of good to the sweet potato industry, because to this day the only sweet potato experiment station in the world is in north Louisiana. That’s a story for another day.

Rod ardoin

2019-12-04T19:10:26-06:00