Yam Yam Thank You, Ma’am

White yams! Remember them?

This post is not so much a recipe, as it is a call of action to all the cooks out there who have forgotten or neglected this underrated tuber. I buy white yams from the farmer’s market near my house during the short season that the farmer has them, and think about how wonderful it would be if more people went after this delicious food, because then we’d have more to eat…


White yams have a brief–but cherished–season with their tuber relations every Fall. This is before they disappear from the shelves and are forgotten, once again, by most everyone. What a shame that is! White yams are the nuttier version of the beloved orange sweet potato. They DO have a different flavor and it is my opinion that they may be even BETTER. In my family, we love our yams roasted and buttered with a pinch of salt and pepper and a dash of thyme. I do not peel them, as the skin is tasty and nutritious. I buy the smallest yams I can find so that they are easily cut, and rinse them under warm water before I roast them. I mix two parts butter with one part olive oil (adding in the salt, pepper, and thyme here), and toss the yams in the mixture before I roast them. The oven must be HOT for the best results. I heat mine to 500 degrees. I roast the yams for thirty to forty minutes or until a fork slides easily through the skin. I always check them at the twenty minute mark so that I can mix them up and move them around, this way they cook more evenly and do not burn. When it is especially cool out and I want something to comfort the soul, I add parsnips and carrots to the roasting pan and enjoy a trifecta of root foods.

Yams are wonderful. Yams are lovely. Yams are just so SO yummy!

Support the yam! You’ll be a fan.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Mark Thistel says:

    Right you are. Chasing the white yam is like taking a trip in time back to the way produce used to be: wild, highly seasonal, and highly flavorful in idiosynchratic ways that defy prediction and make each meal its own unique experience. I’m so glad you’re drawing attention back to this archaic-in-the-best-sense-of-the-word produce.


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