Yams or Sweet Potatoes are one of the most complete foods. They are considered to be nutritious, can be cooked easily, and are very delicious. They can be roasted, boiled, grilled, and then there are several recipes available for cooking them. Though many love eating sweet potatoes & yams, even sometimes their connoisseurs may find it difficult to spot all differences between jewel yams & garnet yams. Both Jewel Yams & Garnet Yams are sweet potatoes.
Jewel Yams vs Garnet Yams
The main difference between Jewel Yams and Garnet Yams is that Jewel Yams are elongated. On the other hand, Garnet Yams are round in shape. The skin color of Jewel Yams is light brown with an orangish tinge while Garnet Yams have a reddish-orangish (maroonish) skin color with a slightly purple tinge.
The Jewel Yams are commonly found in cylindrical thinner sweet potatoes with orange flesh. They are more firm than the garnet yams and have a similar taste to carrots. They are preferred by people with a sweet tooth as they are much sweeter than all the other varieties of sweet potatoes including the garnet yams.
The Garnet Yams are a commonly found sweet potato type with thick orange flesh. They are more moister than jewel yams and have a similar taste to vanilla. They are one of the most sought sweet potatoes due to their super velvety & rich taste. It is best to consume them after cooking.
Comparison Table Between Jewel and Garnet Yams
|Parameters of Comparison||Jewel Yams||Garnet Yams|
|Description||Thin, elongated & firm orange flesh Sweet Potatoes.||Thick corpulent & moist orange flesh round Sweet Potatoes.|
|Best way to eat||Raw, boiled, baked, pies, and casseroles.||Mostly consumed after they are mashed.|
|Nutritional Value||The best source of carbohydrates, fibers, and beta carotene (which converts into Vitamin A in our body). They also come with vitamin C, vitamin B6, proteins, potassium, iron, calcium, etc.||The best source of starch, sugars, etc. They also come with manganese, copper, etc.|
|Taste||They have a sweet carrot-like taste.||They have a deep complex flavor & taste.|
|Calories||A medium jewel yam (approx 130-140 grams) has 100 calories.||A medium garnet yam (approx 130-140 grams) has 130 calories.|
What are Jewel Yams?
Jewel Yams have a botanical name – Ipomoea batatas. They were created (or discovered) in the USA in the 1940s to 1960s. They belong to the sweet potato family and are very rich in nutritious values. Currently, it is one of the most sought types of sweet potato in the US market.
This type of sweet potato was marketed as Jewel Yams in the US markets to avoid confusion with the existing sweet potatoes (which had white flesh). Due to their sweetness, Jewel Yams are widely used in confectionaries. Some of the famous Jewel Yam dishes are jewel yam pies, jewel yam muffins, and jewel yam casseroles.
They are considered low to medium-calorie food substances and are a rich source of vitamin A as well as vitamin C. Jewel Yams should not be refrigerated as they may cause its deterioration. When stored in a dry cold location away from sunlight, they can stay fresh for up to a month. They can be consumed raw, but are mostly preferred cooked (baked, roasted, or boiled). They are available all around the year with the peak season lying between September & March.
What are Garnet Yams?
Garnet Yams share the same botanical name as Jewel Yams, that is, Ipomoea batatas. They even share their discovery with jewel yams. They too belong to the sweet potato family and have a rich texture with a complex taste & flavor (tastes like vanilla & flavor like spinach, truly complex!).
The special name “garnet” also has a valid etymological significance. They were specifically named “Garnet Yams” due to their color resemblance with the garnet stone. They are one of the most carbohydrate-rich types of sweet potatoes.
They are considered heavy food due to their high sugar content though they are classified as a low to a medium calorie food substance. They are also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C & dietary fiber. Garnet Yams should not be refrigerated as this can accelerate their fouling and damage their flavor.
They must always be stored in a dark & dry (not too hot) place. When stored in the best conditions, they can stay fresh for a month. Similar to Jewel Yams, they are available all around the year and even the best months are identical. Various dishes are possible and these potatoes give a semi-liquid texture when consumed with gravies. All cultures have different cooking styles for the same.
Main Differences Between Jewel Yams and Garnet Yams
- Jewel Yams are less thicker than Garnet Yams.
- Jewel Yams have a basic texture & simple taste when compared with Garnet Yams.
- Jewel Yams taste sweet & better when they are consumed boiled while Garnet Yams are very yummy & satisfactory only when roasted.
- When Jewel Yams are cooked, then they retain their flesh color (orange). On the contrary, Garnet Yams when cooked even slightly, become moister and lose their flesh color when cooked.
- Jewel Yams have lesser starch & sugar content than Garnet Yams.
Choosing & differentiating between sweet potatoes can be a tough task. Considering that the US market calls orange flesh sweet potatoes yams, it causes the differentiation process much more difficult.
While it is true that both these orange flesh sweet potatoes were introduced as yams in the US market during the mid 20th century, they have created an audience for themselves. While they both have an orange interior, there are some other differences between them. Surprisingly, they belong to the same botanical family despite their differences.
Both, jewel yam & garnet yam hail from the same genus, and thus have a lot of similarities. It is to be considered that these sweet potatoes have a different taste and texture, due to which there is a need for differentiation that has arisen amongst its consumers. While differentiating between jewel & garnet yams isn’t tough, many still cause blunders while doing so.