What is a Yam?

Louisianans chose to call their own particular brand of sweet potato a "yam"-from the Senagalese word "Nyami"-to eat-to distinguish it from other varieties. These yams are grown to perfection by Cajun farmers, French speaking descendents of the Acadians who fled Nova Scotia, descendants of the French, Spanish and black people who first settled Southwest Louisiana and their Anglo-saxon friends throughout the growing areas of Louisiana. Their agricultural skills and care have been handed down for generations.

Is it any wonder Louisiana Yams look better, cook better and taste better! The Louisiana yam is an improved sweet potato of the "most-fleshed" type, one of two types of sweet potatoes produced for food in the United States. Its flesh turns soft and moist during cooking and is sweet to the taste. Three varieties developed by researchers at the LSU Agricultural Experiment Station really had great impact on the sweet potato industry in Louisiana and the rest of the United States. They are the "Porto Rico Unit No. 1" developed in the 1930's by Dr. Julian C. Miller, the "Centennial" in the 1960's again by Dr. Miller and the latest variety "Beauregard" developed in the late 1980's by Dr. L.H. Rolston. The Beauregard produces uniform size and shape of roots with smooth outer skin surface. It has all the desirable cooking, baking and canning qualities as the other standard varieties being produced today; however, it out-yields them by nearly two to one with about a 60% grade of U.S. No. 1. The 'Beauregard" is the yam on the market and remember, it's a Louisiana Yam. The yam is not only tasty, it's nutritional.

One medium Louisiana yam supplies more than the recommended daily allotment of Vitamin A and one-third the suggested Vitamin C. In addition, yams are an excellent source of energy-giving carbohydrates and provide iron, thiamin, roboflavin, calcium and protein. The golden color of the yam indicates its high carotene content, element the body utilizes as Vitamin A. This pigment is insoluble in water, does into break down in heat and is almost entirely unaffected by acids or alkalines. Only the top grade yams are sent to market. LA yams are the only ones inspected by state inspectors to insure top quality produce. After purchase, keep yams in a cool place (do not refrigerate not subject to changed in temperature and humidity. When stored at temperature less than 55 degrees F, flavor and color may be altered.