Jewel vs. Garnet yam
The jewel yam seems to cook oranger than the garnet, but I have trouble telling them apart. I think I’ve figured it out, though: the garnet yam has a reddish skin and tends to be thicker and rounder—sort of more corpulent—and the jewel has brown (sort of light brown) skin and is longer and skinnier.
Safeway labels yams as “red skins” and (no label), so I got no help there, and the produce person didn’t know any more than the sign said. However, there were some organic yams with identifying labels that claimed they were jewel yams, and based on the appearance of those, I figured that the (no label) yams were also jewel yams. When I was checking out, the checker—a woman of a certain age—looked as though she might know, so I asked whether the yam I had was a jewel yam. “Nope,” she said, “that’s a garnet yam.”
I was pretty sure it was a jewel—by then I thought I had the difference figured out—so I asked, “Are you sure?”
“Yes,” she said. “Because when I key in the code, ‘garnet” comes up.” Of course, she was keying in the code from memory—the yam wasn’t labeled—so that had a certain circular quality.
Back home, a little looking through Google images helped make me feel more certain that I had purchased a jewel yam.
The challenges one faces!
I blogged earlier this photo from Zoe Bakes:
The caption reads:
From top: Camote (sweet potato), Purple “ube” Asian Yam, Sweet Asian Yam, Yampi Yampi, Jewel “yam” (sweet potato), Sweet Potato, Garnet “yam” (sweet potato). In order to taste all of the varieties on an equal playing field we baked them.
And this is the result when roasted:
Zoe Bakes notes:
Here is the flesh of the sweet potatoes. Both Ochen and I thought that the Jewel “yam” was the sweetest, then the Garnet “yam”, the Camote and finally the sweet potato was the least sweet of the bunch.
So now I always buy Jewel “yams” and skip the Garnets. Those are the only two varieties on offer in the grocery stores here.