Candied yams are a classic holiday dish, one that Martha Jubrey prepares with her grandson Desmond Marley Castillo in our Cooking with Grandma video, Kwanzaa edition.
What to buy: Although often used interchangeably, yams and sweet potatoes are not the same. Yams are seldom sold in American grocery stores (but sometimes found in Latin markets) and are not indigenous to the United States. The two varieties of sweet potatoes most often seen in grocery stores are the white or pale sweet potato and the darker-skinned, orange-fleshed garnet and jewel varieties most often mistaken for yams. These red-skinned potatoes are sweeter than the pale variety and are the best candidate for any recipe calling for yams.