Are sweet potatoes vegetable or fruit?

In this brief guide we will answer the question “Are sweet potatoes vegetable or fruit?” and will discuss the difference between sweet potatoes and yams.

Are sweet potatoes vegetable or fruit

Sweet potatoes are vegetables. A sweet potato is a tuber that grows underground. It’s a vegetable, after all. The term “vegetable” originates from a root word that may mean both animate and inactive (plants “vegetate” or do nothing as compared to animals, which move — and there’s that word “animate” again; yet the English word “animal” comes from a word that means “breath”). It’s fascinating to be engrossed in the world of words.

The seed-bearing part of a plant is referred to as the “fruit.”. Apples, berries, mangos, dates, and other fruits that humans consume are almost usually the fruit of the plant. Furthermore, they are delectable. This, I believe, is a critical characteristic for us to consider a food “fruit.” There is one plant that can be used as a fruit, in the sense that it can be used to make a pie. Rhubarb, often known as “pie plant,” is the plant in question. We consume the stem, which necessitates a large amount of sugar. However, we eat other foods that are the fruit of a plant, but we don’t refer to them as such or utilize them in the same way.

 Plant seeds or fruits, such as beans and peas, are legumes; grains are also legumes. Tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants are the fruits of their respective plants, but we refer to them as vegetables, mostly because they are not as sweet and juicy as other fruits. While terms like “fruit” and “vegetable” can have several meanings, I believe that a plant’s culinary usage is the most accurate indicator of its identity.

But there is one exception, and it includes sweet potatoes, particularly the orange kind that is commonly referred to as a yam. Pumpkins and sweet potatoes are both vegetables, but the pumpkin is the fruit of the plant, whilst the sweet potato is a root; both, like rhubarb, may be used to make pie. Beans, on the other hand, may be used to make pie.

Sweet Potatoes and Yams

In the United States, sweet potatoes and yams are frequently misidentified. Sweet potatoes that are orange in hue are commonly referred to as yams in supermarkets. A real yam is a starchy, edible tuber imported mostly from the Caribbean. It has a distinct flavor, texture, and look from sweet potatoes.

The words “yam” and “sweet potato” are frequently interchanged, leading to a lot of misunderstanding. Despite the fact that they are both subterranean tuber veggies, they are extremely distinct. They are distantly related and belong to distinct plant families. Sweet potatoes, scientifically known as Ipomoea batatas, are a starchy root vegetable. They are supposed to have originated in Central or South America, although the state of North Carolina presently produces the most. Surprisingly, sweet potatoes are only distantly related to potatoes.

The sweet potato plant’s tuberous roots are consumed as a vegetable, much like a conventional potato. Their leaves and shoots are also used as greens on occasion. Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, have a unique appearance.

They have a smooth skin that can range in colour from yellow, orange, red, brown, purple, or beige and is long and tapering. The flesh might be white, orange, or even purple, depending on the kind. Sweet potatoes are divided into two categories: sweet potatoes and yams.

Sweet Potatoes with Dark Skin and Orange Fleshed

These sweet potatoes are softer and sweeter than golden-skinned sweet potatoes, with a darker, copper-brown exterior and brilliant orange flesh. They are widely seen in the United States and are fluffy and juicy.

Sweet Potatoes with a Golden Skin and Pale Fleshed

This variant has a stronger skin and lighter yellow meat. It has a drier texture than dark-skinned sweet potatoes and is less sweet.

Sweet potatoes, regardless of variety, are sweeter and more moist than ordinary potatoes. They are a vegetable that can withstand a lot of abuse. They may be marketed all year because of their extended shelf life. They can last up to 2,3 months if stored properly in a cold, dry area. You may buy them in a variety of forms, including whole or pre-peeled, cooked and packaged in cans, or frozen.

Dioscorea is their scientific name, and they are native to Africa and Asia. They are now widely distributed throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. There are about 600 different types of yams, and 95 percent of them are still produced in Africa. Yams, unlike sweet potatoes, may grow to be quite enormous. The size ranges from a small potato to up to 5 feet. Not to mention that they may weigh up to 132 pounds.

Other FAQs about Sweet Potatoes that you may be interested in.

Can you eat sweet potato on the keto diet?

How to preserve sweet potatoes

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Sweet Potatoes?


In this article, we answered the question “Are sweet potatoes fruit or vegetable?” and discussed the difference between sweet potatoes and yams.



Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.