Food & Nutrition

Yams vs. Sweet Potatoes and 8 Other Food Pairs You Commonly Confuse

Pasta vs. noodles, ice cream vs. gelato…though they seem similar, their differences may affect how you use them.

Yams vs. sweet potatoes

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True yams have rough, scaly skin and often purple or red flesh, can grow up to five feet, and are starchier than sweet potatoes. But they’re difficult to find in American supermarkets. There, you’ll actually discover that one variety of sweet potatoes has been labeled yams. The USDA allows orange-fleshed sweet potatoes to be called yams to differentiate them from white-fleshed sweet potatoes.

Pasta vs. noodles

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Pasta, made from a stiff dough of durum wheat and water, has a stronger, more elastic texture than do noodles and is usually dressed with sauce. Noodles, on the other hand, are typically made from a soft paste of eggs, flour, and salt and served in a broth. Here are 13 foods that were invented by accident.

Club soda vs. seltzer

iStock/&#169 Michael Mill, iStock/Jesus Ayala

Both drinks are plain water with carbon dioxide added for carbonation, but club soda includes additives such as table salt, potassium sulfate, and sodium bicarbonate, which give it a slightly saltier taste than seltzer.

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