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Garnet Yams

Nov 20, 2017

This yam is not what you'd expect. It's surprisingly a variety of sweet potato. The identification system in the U.S. requires all yellow-flesh sweet potatoes to include the name yam. The reverse is true; that all yams must include the name sweet potato.

Appearance & Flavor
They are thin, tube-like, and have tapered ends. The skin is rough and has a maroon-brown color. You'll see a dusty film coating them, but not to worry, that's a good thing. The flesh is orange and becomes more golden when cooked. They are the starchiest and moistest of all yam varieties. Their flavor is sweet yet savory, with a hint of earthiness. Like them sweet? Roast them. You can also eat the leaves-they're known to taste like spinach.

Ways to Enjoy
This will get everyone around the Thanksgiving table excited, especially the kids with this French-fry recipe. Or eat them baked, whole, steamed, mashed, and pureed. They're also great for soups, sauces, and curries. Try them as a savory filling for pies-perfect for the holiday season. 

Availability & Origin
They are available year-round, yet they peak in the fall and winter months. Garnet yams became commercially available in the United States around the mid-twentieth century and were called yams to market them differently than the white-flesh sweet potatoes. True yams are native to Africa and Asia.

Do not put these yams in the fridge, as this will speed up the breakdown process. Instead, store them in a cool, dry location. At room temperature, they will last three to five days. If stored in a cellar at 50 to 60 degrees, they can easily last a month or more. You can freeze them whole or cooked. Keep these tips in mind when taking care of garnet yams. 

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