Sweet potatoes are yams and yams are sweet potatoes. If you're an average American who's sat before a Thanksgiving spread of both sweet potato casserole and candied yams, it's something you've probably thought to yourself.
In reality, it's a little more complicated. That's because sweet potatoes and yams are in fact very different vegetables that we've come to refer to interchangeably for a number of weird reasons over the years. In fact, it's entirely likely that you've never actually eaten a true yam.
So, here's a quick explainer that should help you distinguish them from one another and allow you to impress your Turkey Day table guests with some tuber trivia.