This blog post is a comprehensive compilation of true West African yams, where to buy yams, how to cook yams, and recipe suggestions.
What is Yam
If you live in the US, you’d probably trade the word yam for orange sweet potato.True yams are part of Dioscorea yam It is a family of grapes grown independently in Asia, West Africa and South America. They produce larger, starchy tubers that range from white to yellow to purple. they are not sweet However, sweet potatoes belong to the Convolvulaceae family and have very different properties.
So why were sweet potatoes and yams confused?
This confusion is steeped in the history of enslavement and marketing. For enslaved Africans who were forcibly brought to the Americas, the word “yam” comes from various West African dialects that use similar words to describe “eating.” In addition, the sweet potato was a familiar starch for West Africans brought to the Americas. In addition, marketing by the Louisiana sweet potato industry made “yams” more popular.click here)
where can i buy yam
If you live in West Africa, yams can be found in any market. However, if you live in the US and Canada, your best option is our store in Africa. Choosing a good yam can be difficult. Most African shops that import yams from Ghana usually sell one variety (pona). This variety is starchy and has a sweet aroma when cooked. A good yam is one that is firm and has no visible discoloration.
There are a variety of other yams for sale, but they tend to be more niche varieties.
how to cook yam
Boiling is the preferred method in many Ghanaian households. Boiled yam is served in various stews and sauces. To boil the yams, simply cut them into 1-inch discs and peel them with a knife. Cook over medium heat in plenty of salted water. Do not cover it completely. It foams up. The thickness of the yam determines the cooking time. If you cut it to the size of the video, it will be completed in about 15 minutes.
I want to try the simmered yam stew, so check out some of my favorite sauces.
The next popular option is to fry the yam. Frying is very easy. However, it takes longer than potatoes. Yams are high in starch, so they take a long time to cook. Cut the yam into fries and fry in hot oil until golden brown. Depending on the thickness of the cut yam, this typically takes up to 10 minutes.
Yams are usually slammed into a starchy swallow called a pound yam. In parts of West Africa, it is also called fufu. Its name depends on where you are in West Africa. Yams are sometimes pounded together with coco yam/taro, cassava or plantain. Please watch this video.
How to store yam
Raw, uncut yams can be stored in a cool, dark, dry place for several weeks before they go bad.Yams cut in half can also be stored.
To extend the shelf life, yam can be chopped and frozen. This is what we do at home. Seeing your yams in a good freezer bag can extend their lifespan by a few months. When you’re ready to cook, simply place the frozen yam in a bowl and let it simmer. There is no need to defrost the yam. Unfortunately, you can’t actually fry these things, as they take forever to fully cook.